How safe are Wellington schools? Wichita architect tells board there is room for improvement

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first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A tornado hitting a school in Oklahoma, a school shooting in Connecticut. These were tragic events that can make any parent of school students squeamish. How safe are your kids when you take them to school?The Wellington school board is currently looking into ways to make our schools safer from human and weather intruders through a “Wellington Schools Safety and Security Improvement” plan.Even though Wellington is a small school district compared to those in larger metropolitans, it has a daunting task in front of them. The school district has four elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, an alternative school and a Central administrative office. All told there are eight school buildings for which USD 353 is responsible.At last week’s meeting, the board brought in Ed Klock of PBA Architects in Wichita, who provided a detailed safety feasibility report. In a power point presentation, he outlined the current problems and the possible solutions to making Wellington a school-safe zone.If USD 353 was to address its safety concerns adequately, it would cost the school district excess of $3 million.“But it is something we have to face in these times,” said board member Bob White.Each building has unique set of issues. Even the high school, just 10 years old, is not considered a safe building. It may have the safe room for a tornado, but it wasn’t built ideally for someone wanting to come in and shoot up the place.The middle school is especially a problem area because the central office is in the center of the building instead of on the outline of a complex. Eisenhower Elementary does not have a safe room.“These weren’t issues we had to deal with when this school was being built,” Jackie Berryman, Wellington board president said.Klock’s detailed report can be seen on Channel 55. Sumner Newscow has requested digital renderings of the architectural drawings presented to the board during the powerpoint presentation, but has not received any response at this time.Keep in mind, this is a very preliminary report. And the board has not made any indication what direction it wishes to take. Wellington assistant superintendent Larry Roth said the board will take it to various site councils to gather input on the matter there first.Klock said other school districts such as Derby and Newton are looking at making their schools safe as well.••••• In other business the board:•heard presentations from students about the upcoming Sumner County Leadership Summit to be held in Wellington for county students on Jan. 21;•heard from Rosemary Klish, therapeutic coordinator at Roosevelt, about using the McKinley building as a teacher resource center;•went into executive session for 30 minutes on teacher negotiations with no action taken thereafter — Roth reported the two sides are close to signing the 2013-14 teacher’s contract;•approved the consent agenda that contained no hirings or firings. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (30) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +7 Vote up Vote down USD 353 Parent · 343 weeks ago Cueball you are correct school safety is not something new but wait and see how urgent USD 353 makes this out as we have to have it right now!! This School district should have been working towards this since the Columbine tragedy which was 15 years ago. As for safe rooms/storm shelters well that goes without saying this is Kansas should have been done when the school board members were in diapers!! Get ready for the tax hammer its coming!!!!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 343 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down anon · 343 weeks ago To make the high school safer they need a way to lock all doors from inside and out except the front because kids can just walk out he doors. It would be a lot of money but have locks on them where they can be automatically unlocked during morning, passing period and then when a student or parent needs in. They could use live monitoring system on all the doors where they can see the tv and who comes in and out of the building. Or make kids carry their id and if they want out of the school they sign out and to get out the door they have to use their id and swipe it on the door and have the system set up where you can see who used their id to get in and out and have a policy in place. If they give it to their friends and they swipe in and out to much under their id its on both of them, because the student didn’t swipe in and out. These are just some ideas that could help Report Reply 0 replies · active 343 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down WHS grad · 343 weeks ago Good luck. Should have been done like USD 353 Parent said. But Wellington is all ways behind the 8 ball. Hope it doesn’t take a life before safety comes first. Report Reply 0 replies · active 343 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Crusader Pride · 343 weeks ago The Wellington High School Classrooms are designed to be locked…They lock from the inside out and would required a key to gain access or be let in by a student or teacher. They have just never been used correctly. This is not the first time that the district has been told about school safety. I am at least impressed that they are looking into it…. Report Reply 2 replies · active 343 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Parent of 2 students · 343 weeks ago I understand that maybe these schools need to be made more safe, and I agree with that. But the unfortunate situation is that no matter what precautions we take, there will always be a chance a tragedy could happen. Report Reply 0 replies · active 343 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down anonymous · 343 weeks ago Before we get levied for school security and gald-hand some contractors for high-tech security systems and other hidden improvements, can we see the last 15 years worth of police reports and any other documentation/statistics regarding actual intrusions/attempted intrusions/other incidents at USD353 schools over the past 20 years? Simply back up the knee-jerking with some legitimate data. I will speculate there haven’t been many. We’ve been taxed to death and over-regulated already by every level of government over “feel good” movements. Let’s get tougher on the constant “hands in our pocketbooks” and not just throw up our hands in panic and say “oh my goodness, we *do* have to do something” just because its politically correct. Report Reply 2 replies · active 343 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 343 weeks ago I knew the sky-is-falling crowd would immediately hit the panic button the second I wrote this story. There is a difference between looking at various options and actually putting a concrete proposal out there. If you read the story, the board is simply looking at whether or not Wellington schools are safe for our students and taking a proactive approach to the matter. What is wrong with that? Report Reply 12 replies · active 343 weeks ago -4 Vote up Vote down Ted Logan · 343 weeks ago What we need to do is cut off the problem at its root and deal with the gun issue the way it should be. Report Reply 4 replies · active 342 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down WHS Grad · 343 weeks ago Bullying has been identified as a motivator for school violence. The administrator in charge of building and grounds may perceive the situation as rampant. Report Reply 0 replies · active 343 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down OneConcernedCitizen · 343 weeks ago We could just get bulletproof bubbles to put all of our children in so they would be safe from gun shots, getting ran over(will just bounce you down the road), animal attacks, premarital sex and shingles. Report Reply 0 replies · active 343 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! 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Selleney / TDO Architecture

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This was combined with extensive use of off-site construction to retain control over costs, wastage and environmental impact on site.Save this picture!© Mark CocksedgeThe design exposes the structural and framing elements to give the building ‘free detail’. With the skeleton exposed, the attention to structural alignments and junction details had a high priority in the design process. Save this picture!© Mark CocksedgeWindow frames on the south-eastern kitchen elevation are formed as deep fins to protect from southern sun and overlooking. The exposed structural grid aligns with the frames and oversails the external wall to form a shading canopy. Save this picture!© Mark CocksedgeThe north eastern living area elevation opens to the garden setting, and the exposed structural grid is accordingly set at 90º to that of the kitchen to reinforce this relationship. 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A couple visited the JYA office and shared their wish to build a house on a sunlit ground facing a cozy park in its south. With nice gentle smiles, they naturally displayed modesty and warmth. As to show their affection for people, they dreamed of a house that is ‘open to people’. To them, the house had both ‘internal’ and ‘external’ meanings: a place where their family and relatives get together and share lives as well as a space where their friends and neighbors casually come by and chat together. For that reason, they wanted spaces like open lounge or daecheong, a Korea’s traditional main floored room and wished to capture the characteristics of such open spaces in their new house.Save this picture!© Hwang HyochelAs such, our work started from imagining all the necessary spaces for the family. We first thought of a family room where people could meet one another, take rest, read books or play together or individually. The room would absorb sufficient sunlight and capture the view of a beautiful sunset as well as that of a little park and a hill in front of the house. Next was the spacious structure of the house that would allow family members to simultaneously engage in various activities. An ideal example of this was numaru, a balcony-like raised veranda that would give an enjoyably nostalgic and serene sentiment. Based on the numaru concept, we reinterpreted its spacial characteristics, captured them into inner space of the new house and started to unravel the rest of spaces.Save this picture!© Hwang HyochelIn turn, the family room was to be located at the center of the 2nd floor, along with a main bedroom and kids’ bedrooms on each side. It would act as a place that connects and disconnects parents and children. They would enjoy reading books from shelves that fully cover the wall or take a nap on a window bench facing south. 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As such, this open yard would genuinely act as a place of play and exchange—at least to those joyful children.Save this picture!© Hwang HyochelThe house that embraces these spaces is built in a rather simple form. Its exterior is also finished with bricks in subtle color that reflects the modest taste of the client. Nonetheless, an exposed structure of its living room creates a dynamic diagonal line, interestingly adding different images to the house from different angles.Save this picture!© Hwang HyochelThe couple and their three sons who dreamed of a house ‘open to people’ encounter and exchange with a far more people than we expected. The three kids are all over the attic, the family room, the living room and the bathroom, and their new friends are welcome to the house anytime. 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