In the wake of school shootings at Sandy Hook in Connecticut last year and Centennial in Colorado last week, the Northside ISD in San Antonio is experimenting with what may be a sign of the times, a school with a bulletproof lobby.
1200 WOAI News reports that the new Ellison Elementary School, which is under construction on the far northwest side and will be open this coming fall, is being built with a special bulletproof lobby area that everybody who enters the school will have to pass through before they can enter any portion of the school building.
"It's almost like an outer lobby before you get into the school," said Pascual Gonzalez, Executive Director of Communications for NISD.
Currently visitors to schools are required to go to the office and show some sort of identification, usually a drivers license which is scanned and placed on file, before they can attend an event at the school.
But in almost all cases, the visitor first has to walk into the building and down a hall way to get to the office. Somebody with ill intent has access to the entire school building, and can bypass the office entirely.
Gonzalez says in Ellison, that won't be the case. He says to get into any part of the building, you'll first have to pass through this bulletproof lobby.
"While you are in the security lobby your credentials will be processed, and somebody in the school would buzz you into the school," he said.
The security lobby will be tested at Ellison Elementary School when it opens this fall. Gonzalez says the biggest concern is that it will cause delays when students and teachers are all arriving at the school for the start of the school day. But if those delays aren't a problem, he says 'security lobbies' could become commonplace at school buildings.
"If this pilot works well, if this pilot works at Ellison Elementary, we will expand it to at least thirty more schools over the next three years," he said.