Following a request from the Sharyland ISD board, the administration plans to install security huts and fences to cover all eight elementary school campuses and parking lots.
The district is still in its early stages, but SISD is considering installing a six-foot ornamental fence, according to Executive Director of Maintenance Mark Doherty. The new barrier structure will be tied to the existing chain link fence on campus.
Ornamental fences come in several styles, including wrought iron, glass, aluminum, PVC, bamboo, wood, and vinyl. Costs vary by media and labor, but SISD estimates the project at $750,000.
The state recommends an 8-foot hurricane or chain link fence, but officials have no problem with lower decorative fences.
“Their idea is that it’s hard to climb [ornamental fences]Doherty said at a special meeting on Jan. 18. “Also, aesthetically, we don’t want the campus to look like a prison.”
A straight line measurement covering eight elementary school campuses is 7,200 feet. Most campuses have proper gating, so very few campuses need an upgrade. The school district has no plans to replace existing fences. The new one outlines the front and parking area.
However, Dougherty said there are ongoing discussions with the Texas Department of Education regarding new fencing requirements. Most districts have 6-foot hurricane fences, he said, and new fences are needed to meet the 8-foot recommendation, but cost is an issue and schools are opposing it statewide.
According to November 2022 article At Angi, the average cost of an 8 foot chain link fence is $12 to $34 per square foot. Additional costs to consider are thickness, gating and labor.
Sharyland ISD is still negotiating the details of that project and has no final cost.
In addition, the district plans to add security huts to all parking lots on elementary school campuses. The administration proposed dividing the parking lot into her two designated areas, staff parking and public parking. The guard shack will be placed in a public parking lot. Armed guards controlled the structure, costing the district an additional $186,000.
Trustee Jose “Pepe” Garcia asked if the security upgrade was the latest move for Sharyland ISD. Intruder detection auditSuperintendent Dr. Maria Bidauri said the school district already had plans to install new fences and guard shacks, based on feedback from town hall meetings earlier in the school year.
Last semester, the Sharyland ISD underwent a state-mandated intruder detection audit on at least one campus. The Texas School Safety Center conducts inspections to determine whether unauthorized individuals may enter campus grounds and buildings.
SISD did not discuss the details or results of the audit.However, the assistant director Student Support Services’ Pamela Montalvo said school districts must “take corrective action and plan where necessary.”
Sharyland ISD is undergoing ongoing HVAC upgrades in various stages across several campuses. despite the long wait shortageDuring the winter break, construction began at Shimotsu Elementary School and Wernecke Elementary School.
At Shimotsu Elementary School, new facilities were installed in the library, cafeteria, and kitchen. The employee moved to his office area on January 23rd. Wernecke’s project is also progressing well. Dougherty said June and he expects substantial completion dates for both campuses in July.
New John H. Shirley Elementary School Parking Lot It is in the final stages of construction and nearing completion. At a January 23 school board meeting, Dougherty said the project should be completed by the end of February. In the meantime, SISD administration is working on a new transportation plan, which will be open to the public in the coming weeks. Dougherty said plans could change if necessary.
Sharyland upgraded John H. Shary’s parking lot to ease traffic issues during pick-up hours. Vehicles form he line along the two-lane Glascock Road and back onto 495 E. Griffith Parkway, creating a bottleneck effect and pedestrian hazard. Before construction, Dougherty said up to 200 cars were stuck in traffic. The new parking lot isn’t a panacea, but the district estimates the expansion will require him to clear 75 cars from the street during rush hour.