A new $40,000 card-access security system with video integration has been installed at Bishop Ryan Catholic School.
Rev. Justin Waltz, pastor at St. Leo's Catholic Church, approached his parish and financial councils and asked them to approve the donation for the security system, which was installed by T.J. Stewart of Protech Integrations. Waltz said the security system is the best on the market.
"Security and the safety of our kids is of the utmost importance," said Waltz, who said school officials have talked about installing such a security system for some time. Walz noted the increased population of Minot, bringing with it more transients, and also mentioned the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut last December.
Ryan's security system incorporates video cameras and a buzzer system as well as the card-access system. Employees hold cards that allow them access to the school through certain entrances that can be set by the system administrator. The system also records what time the card was used and who entered through which door. A buzzer and intercom system is installed at the main school entrances and at the entrance to the administrative offices. A camera is also in the system, enabling the system operator to see who is pushing the buzzer. Parents or other visitors ring the buzzer, identify themselves and the person operating the system can then choose to unlock the entrance door and allow the visitor access to the school. Stewart said additions can be made to the system in the future as updates become available.
If staff lose their cards, the old card can be deactivated and a new one will be issued. Bobby Madry, information technology director for the school system, said that people who lose their cards will be charged $25 to replace them.
Darwin Routledge, school principal, said Bishop Ryan Catholic School will also incorporate other security measures this school year so that teachers and administrators will know how to respond to a potential emergency situation.
Walz said the security system is part of other efforts to improve the school system, such as its capital campaign and an addition and renovation project currently under way at the school. Voiles said work on the addition is two months behind schedule, but staff and students will be able to occupy it by the fall of 2014. Enrollment is up in the Minot Catholic Schools for the third year in a row, said Voiles, with 420 students enrolled this year in kindergarten through the 12th grade. There are about 90 students in the preschool program, said Routledge.