Local schools add security features

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PITTSBURGH - As students head back to school, many will see enhanced security features around their buildings.

"My greatest fear would be any kind of intruder," said Kiski Superintendent John Meighan.

The district added a mousetrap entrance to some of its schools.

Meighan said it adds a second layer of protection against intruders trying to get into the school.

With the old setup, there was only one security door, giving people access to all of the classrooms.

With this new entrance, once visitors get buzzed through the first locked door, they are stopped at the front desk before they are allowed past a second secure door.

"It's one thing to look at an individual on a video camera. It's a very different type of assessment when you're face to face talking to them," said John Tedorski, Kiski's technology services director.

Kiski isn't the only district stepping up security.

The Seneca Valley school district is beginning work on similar entrances.

South Butler, for the second school year, will have armed guards.

West Mifflin schools are adding new security cameras as well as new locks on classroom doors, and Gateway schools are installing swipe-card entries.

For Kiski schools, mousetrap entrances are being built into all of the elementary schools and the new Upper Elementary, with plans to have them in the high school within the next two years.

Meighan said the goal is to protect students and comfort parents.

"They entrust us with their most prized possession every day, so it's up to us to ensure their safety," he said.