School District Considers Security Measures As Methadone Clinic Opening Nears

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Thursday July 18, 2013

Although the school board’s appeal to the Environmental Court challenging HowardCenter’s permit to open a methadone clinic at 364 Dorset Street remains active, the clinic’s anticipated opening date is actually drawing near. Because the Environmental Court did not feel there would be any harm in having the interior renovations begin, construction has been in progress for weeks.  Given this status, Superintendent David Young provided an administrative report to the board outlining campus security and school safety protocols at the school board meeting Wednesday, July 10.

The South Burlington School District already has a number of school safety procedures in place, including crisis response teams at each school which meet at scheduled times throughout the year to discuss areas of concern and practice simulations. Six years ago, the School District added a security position; the responsibilities of this job have evolved over time. 

Young recommended increased lighting along the west side of Tuttle Middle School and along Dorset Street, emergency calling stations (similar to those seen on college campuses), renovation of 400 Dorset Street to accommodate the facilities department and security. In addition, Young proposed added cameras at 400 Dorset Street to look along Dorset Street, and at the FH Tuttle Middle School parking that is located north of the Middle School, along with a wiring update to support connecting 400 Dorset Street to the District infrastructure. Martin LaLonde mentioned other considerations such as changing bus routes and determining whether the campus will remain open or closed. Coaches, especially for track and cross country will need to be notified of potential adjustments to practice routes as well, come fall. 

Young said he will confer with the City regarding shared costs to some of these items and return to the Board afterward with exact figures. “We’re trying to cover our bases as best we can at this time,” Young said, “but we may want to make changes later.”

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent