EAST GREENBUSH N.Y. – Returning students of Columbia High School may notice some visible changes when arriving back to school Thursday morning.
Crews are working quickly to finish the vestibule buzzer system in front of Columbia High School, before students arrive for their first day back from summer break Thursday. The addition of the system is a part of the school district's improvement plans to make the buildings more secure.
Each school building has cameras, buzzers and two sets of doors visitors must go through before entering the school. As an additional security precaution, all glass windows at the school have been switched out with bulletproof panes.
The high school principal tells WTEN that security has become a priority. In 2004 there was a shooting at Columbia High School that injured a teacher; luckily there were no fatalities as a result of the incident.
"It's a part of the culture we live in today and unfortunately what's happening around schools it enables us to have better control of who comes into the building. With us and any school, it's about time," said John Sawchuk the Columbia High School Principal.
Columbia High School also has a fulltime resource officer who is a part of the East Greenbush police department, the officer works closely with students and faculty at the school.
Students of Columbia High School return back to school Thursday morning kicking the year off with a safe new start.