Jacksonville School District 117 is taking care of security concerns at one of its elementary schools.
The District 117 Board of Education approved a bid from AMC Fence for a black vinyl-coated 6-foot high security fence to encompass the north side of Lincoln Elementary School.
Superintendent Steve Ptacek explains the need for the fence is due to adult members of the public being on the grounds during school hours with students present: “We have had a lot of individuals that still see that property behind Lincoln, in between the football field and Lincoln, as kind of public easement. We’ve encountered multiple individuals even driving behind the school, walking across that playground area. I get that it is an open field. There are things back there. There are places to sit. We’ve just come to the conclusion that we’re going to have put in fencing back behind Lincoln. That just serves an indicator that this area is off limits during the day when kids are here. We’ve not directly had any threats, but having people there that we don’t know what their intention is, we always have to take seriously and take as a threat. So, it’s time to put fencing around that area with the shear volume of community egress that has been through that area. It’s an expense. It’s going to be near $40,000, but we will have gates on either end so that we can still have our cars drop off or pick up kids. We can have the gates open for that and then close them all up to ensure that our students are safe throughout the day.”
The fence will have 4 walk gates and 2 large gates for the car drive. The gates will remain closed and locked during after-school hours, so members of the public will not have access to the playground or basketball court. The winning bid for the fence was $39,890.