Making Connecticut schools safer

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- In the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook; Can Connecticut fortify schools without turning them into fortresses? That's the big question confronting a special commission appointed by the Governor. 

They heard from several of the state's top school architects Friday.

A time lapsed video of men attempting to sledge hammer their way into a modern security glass was the highlight of Friday's hearing on school security. In the video, the men with the sledge hammers give up after close to 20 minutes. Experts told the committee that school doors can be retrofitted with the glass for between $15,000 and $20,000, and classroom windows for about $4,000.

"We are retro-fitting schools all the time, in fact, we do more renovation of schools than we do new schools within the state of Connecticut," said Glen Gollenberg, SLAM Collaborative, "so under the state's program, renovating doors and windows is commonly done."

In the tragedy at Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza didn't get through the regular security door. He blasted his way through the glass window near it with his Bushmaster AR-15 rifle.
The chairman, Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, says the security glass may not be the answer for everyone.

"I think a lot of communities are going to look at that and say; you know what, for the slightly enhanced security profile against this specific type of threat, it may not be worth it," said Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson. "I would rather invest in human resources."

And the architects told the Governor's Sandy Hook commission Friday that there is no one prescription that will work in all of the state's nearly 1,200 schools because some of the schools are very old.

"Not only the age is different, but the type of school is different," said Jim LaPosta, JCJ Architects, "a high school has a very different kind of threat assessment than you would do for a pre-school or elementary school."

What ever different school systems decide to do, the main goal is to do everything possible to delay the time an intruder gets into a school because every second longer it takes means first responders are that much closer to arriving.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Connecticut (change)

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Dan Malloy
Lieutenant Governor: Nancy Wyman
Attorney General: George Jepsen
State Treasurer: Denise L. Nappier

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