Bend▶️ Bend-La Pine schools begin replacing 3,000 door locks district-wide

▶️ Bend-La Pine schools begin replacing 3,000 door locks district-wide

▶️ Bend-La Pine schools begin replacing 3,000 door locks district-wide

▶️Bend La Pine schools spending $5 million on door locks for 3,000 doors

More than a year ago, voters approved a $250 million bond measure to improve safety and modernize aging schools and classrooms. Some of the work is finally getting underway while students are on winter vacation.

The first phase of the safety upgrades is replacing door handles and door locks on thousands of doors.

“We are talking about more than 30 buildings, more than 3,000 doors,” said Scott Maben, Bend La Pine Schools Communications Director.

District staff spent months walking through every school, surveying the doors. They looked at the dimensions, the materials and types of windows.

“It’s a lot of doors in a lot of schools. It will take nearly three years,” Maben said.

The Bend-La Pine School District is spending more than $5 million on door locks. Right now, the only way teachers can lock classroom doors, is with a key — from the outside.

“The idea is to make it as simple and easy for anyone who needs to secure the door in literally seconds,” Maben said. “It’s just, click and it’s locked. The nice thing is now you can see from anywhere across the room with this red label, that door is locked.”

In a threatening situation, students will gather with their teacher in a corner of the classroom where they can’t be seen from the hallway through small, tempered glass windows in the new doors. The theory is someone who intends to harm students and staff that encounters a locked door and can’t see anyone inside will move on.

“You want that standard. You want staff in all our schools to know there’s one simple procedure to secure that room,” Maben said. “It’s important also with staff that might be changing buildings, substitute teachers that might be in any given building on any given day. We want to make sure everyone understands the procedure and how simple and easy it is to use.” 

Door locks in Bear Creek Elementary, Pilot Butte Middle School and Three Rivers K-8 will be replaced before students return to class in the New Year. Mountain View High School, Cascade Middle School and all four La Pine schools will have their door locks replaced by the end of next summer.

The remaining schools’ door locks will be replaced over the next two school years.

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