Easthampton High School aims to beef up safety features

  • Robert Alberti, chief of the Easthampton Police Department, talks about the state funding the city received for up grades in safety and security in the schools. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Robert Alberti, chief of the Easthampton Police Department, talks about the state funding the city received for up grades in safety and security in the schools. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 9/26/2022 8:06:20 PM
Modified: 9/26/2022 8:05:32 PM

EASTHAMPTON — With approaches to safety and security constantly evolving, the school district is planning on applying some of the new advances in technology it applied to its new pre-K-8 school into the halls of Easthampton High courtesy of a recent award of $40,000 in state funding.

State Sen. John C. Velis, D-Westfield, and state Rep. Dan Carey, D-Easthampton, announced Monday at Easthampton High School that the district had received $40,000 in funding, which was included in the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget. The state officials were joined at the announcement by Superintendent Allison LeClair, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, Easthampton High School Principal Bill Evans, City Council President Homar Gomez, Police Chief Robert Alberti and Lt. Dennis Scribner.

“This building is turning 10 years old this year and there are just advances in security that we want to try and stay up to date with. And to do that, it’s time for us to do some upgrades and some replacement,” LeClair said.

“One of our biggest priorities as a school district is to keep all students and staff safe. So these funds will go a long way to helping us make a difference here in doing that work at the high school.”

Among the areas the district hopes to improve on in the high school is upgrading the camera systems and entry door systems as well as some surveillance techniques, LeClair said.

Carey, vice chair of the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity, said it’s important for school districts to stay on top of advances in technology.

“I’ve heard some critics say the high school is a new building … but, a lot has changed in 10 years, let me tell you,” he said. “I graduated from the high school in 2003 — 20 years ago. So to me, this still feels like a brand new building. But when I was in high school, that’s when Columbine hit, and I’ll never forget it. … And now we’re still dealing with those tragedies. And every time it comes up on the news, the senator and I think about our district. And we want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can for our communities, to make sure that our constituents are safe.”

For the past three to five months, Velis said he’s had several superintendents, principals and school administrators from the communities he represents reach out regarding school safety and security.

“I can’t think of anything more critical, than the well being and safety of our, of our young students,” he said.


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