Verona school to share new school’s security plans with parents

Verona school to share new school’s security plans with parents
Verona Area School District YouTube

School district officials plan to host meetings in March to address concerns from parents about security in the new high school.

Verona Area School District spokeswoman Kelly Kloepping said the district will hold two community meetings in March to explain to parents the district’s security plans. The architect and construction team working on the new high school will also be at the meetings.

District officials are also working on an extensive security document highlighting safety measures that are currently in place at schools in Verona and what new changes they plan to make when the new building is completed.

A number of parents have shared with News 3 their concerns about the design of the building, describing it as an open target with plans that include ceiling-to-floor glass windows in classrooms.

Mara Helmke has two children in the Verona Area School District who will go to the high school when they get older. Helmke has concerns with the open design.

“There would be no escape,” Helmke said. “These kids would be effectively sitting ducks from the outside as well as the inside. Someone wouldn’t even have to enter the building to expose our children. I feel like for our school … should be the No. 1 priority for our kids safety.”

Parents have made a list of concerns they plan to address with the school district next week during a public meeting.

“I’ve talked to my neighbors and my friends and I don’t know anyone who feels comfortable with what is going to happen,” Helmke said.

The school board will meet Monday night to finalize the information on the security document before it is released to the public. Parents told News 3 they plan to attend a City Planning Commission Meeting that same night where the district will discuss the new high school design. The Verona Police Department also plans to attend.

An animated video showcasing the design says a groundbreaking for construction on the school is expected in the spring of 2018.