Architect says school building designs can make school safer - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Architect says school building designs can make school safer


Are armed guards the answer to making our schools safer? As the gun control debate is about to escalate in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting, there may be another approach to protecting our kids. The answer may be architecture.  A local expert is designing new schools with security in mind.

Most people enter Quincy Senior High School through the front doors, and when you go through you're immediately greeted by a school security officer.  But I talked with a local architect Wednesday who says it's not just people who can improve security, but a building's design can go a long way in keeping kids safe.

"There's 117 doors at QHS so it's a major effort just to keep all those doors locked," said Quincy Public School Chief of Security Billy Meyer, as he looked at some of the suggestions Architect Martin Meyer recently made.

Meyer's designs focus on making buildings safer in the event an attack.  

"You just control access to the building.  Meaning you funnel them to one entrance so you can control that one entrance and you limit access to buildings at the perimeter so you know who's coming into your building and who's coming into your building," Martin Meyer said. 

As he shows me some of his designs for schools in the Tri-States, Meyer said this isn't a fool proof way to stop an attack like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, but it does give a person a chance to second guess what they're about to do.  

"The passive security measures are going to prevent a situation from escalating where a sane and moral guy who has lost his temper is going to be given pause and an opportunity to calm down," Martin Meyer said.   

And Billy Meyer said the more ideas people come up with to protect schools, the better. 

"But the good thing is we are discussing this.  What is the best way or ways?  I think that discussion  will hopefully lead to some improvement not only nationally but through the state and local government," Billy Meyer said.  

Martin Meyer said some other things schools can do is make sure the building is easy to monitor and make sure access points ARE well lit. 

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