Security upgrade coming at two Rhea County schools

Security upgrade coming at two Rhea County schools

February 16th, 2013 by Tom Davis in Local Regional News

Jerry Levengood, the director of schools in Rhea County, Tenn.

DAYTON, Tenn. - Doors at two Rhea County schools will be upgraded to include electronic locks to improve security, school board members decided this week.

Director of Schools Jerry Levengood said Thursday that a review of security at county schools found that Frazier and Rhea Central elementaries had the least control over entry to their buildings.

Installing electronic locks and video monitors on doors at the two facilities will allow school personnel to identify visitors before admitting them to the buildings, he said.

Levengood said cost for the upgrades will total $4,000. He offered an alternative, to build glass-walled entries at the two buildings at a cost of nearly $17,000, but said the less-costly option should be as effective. Board members agreed.

In other matters, board members called a workshop session at Frazier Elementary for March 16 to review school zone options. Board members will review plans to change district boundaries for Frazier and Rhea Central to relieve overcrowding at Frazier.

Rhea Central will have more classroom space available next fall when the sixth, seventh and eighth grades move to the present high school building. High school students will move to the new high school at the same time, authorities said.

Board members also authorized school personnel to pursue development of a day center at the new high school. Board member Johnny Mincy said the board had to approve that step before plans and approvals could be secured from state authorities. The board, he said, would have another opportunity to review a final proposal. The center would serve teachers at the new high school and junior high and other school employees if space permits.

Tom Davis is based in Dayton. Contact him at tsdavis@volstate.net.