SPOKANE, Wash.--Designers of the newly built Jefferson Elementary School in South Spokane used lessons from the Sandy Hook school tragedy to make sure students are safe this fall.
The Spokane Public School District underwent a complete security audit just as the Newtown School shooting took place on December 14th, 2012.
The shooting brought attention to several critical changes needed in Spokane schools. Those security upgrades were added into the Jefferson Elementary design plans. The additions include frosted glass windows, blinds in every classroom, and doors that lock from the inside.
“There aren't words, we just feel so safe and secure,” said Principal Mary-Dean Wooley.
She said the changes mean nobody should be able to tell if students are inside of a classroom.
All outside building doors can also be locked simultaneously with the simple pull of a lever in the office according to Wooley. Construction crews built just four exterior doors, while the old Jefferson had more than 20.
“Just having those four doors versus the bazillion we had before that weren't on the security system is a huge improvement,” said Wooley.
Portions of the building can also be isolated.
Wooley said certain features in Jefferson will eventually be implemented in schools across the Spokane Public School District.