Designs for new school buildings to be reviewed by police for safety Crime prevention a consideration

November 02, 1995|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,SUN STAFF

From now on, Anne Arundel school officials will submit designs for new school buildings to the county Police Department for safety reviews.

The county school board decided on the procedure yesterday as it was approving designs for three schools and an addition for Broadneck High School.

"We have crime prevention experts who should be looking at these drawings," said board member Michael J. McNelly, a former county police officer. "We should be doing this with every school. Student safety should be our first concern."

The school designs approved yesterday were for Jacobsville, Ridgeway and South Shore elementary schools. Neither the designs for the three schools nor the one for the Broadneck addition had been reviewed by county police, but Broadneck Principal Linda Blackmun said she was satisfied that the addition to her school would be safe.

"We have worked with the architect to make sure there are no dead-end or dark corridors," Ms. Blackmun said.

The concern about safety procedures was the latest in a barrage of complaints about the county's school construction department in the past two months.

The department has been criti- cized for designing some schools to be larger than the size that was approved or, in one case, about 100 seats smaller.

In other action yesterday, the board told the school system's purchasing staff to determine whether it could legally could give preference to local businesses.

"To the extent that our county tax base can be nourished by giving preference to local firms, I think we need to look into this," board member Michael A. Pace said.

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