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Construction has begun on the first of four vestibule projects in the town’s elementary schools.
Willard Elementary School Principal Matt Correia said construction at the school has been progressing well, with work scheduled to be completed by the end of the school year. The project began at the beginning of spring break, on April 8.
Work at the other schools will start this summer and should be completed by the start of the next school year.
Correia said workers have been accommodating of students. “They’re as quiet as mice,” he said.
Willard visitors are currently directed to a side entrance where a temporary office has been set up.
Before work began at Willard, visitors were directed to the main office to sign in. Once they were through the front door, however, they could go into any of the hallways.
The vestibule would place visitors in an enclosed space where they would only have access to the main office. There, they will be run through the school’s Raptor system, which validates their driver’s license and checks their identity against the sex offender registry.
“I’m excited. It’s going to streamline people entering the building,” Correia said.
Board of Education Chairperson Matthew Tencza said the work couldn’t be done soon enough.
“Right now, if you go into any of our elementary schools, once you’re in the front door, while you’re supposed to go into the office – you could get directed into (the rest of the school),” he said. “For me, I think that’s a necessary step regarding school safety.”