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Security upgrade at Estacada High School will be finished in January prior to students' return

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Exterior doors at Estacada High School will soon be equiped with key card reader technology.

While students are on winter break, a building security project will be completed at Estacada High School.

The safety upgrade will equip all exterior doors at the school, at 355 N.E. Sixth Ave., with programmable cards for staff members, which will eliminate the need for keys and allow the doors to remain locked during the school day. The work was approved by Estacada School Board members during their August meeting, and the project is expected to be finished by Wednesday, Jan 2.

With the new technology, school staff will have the ability to lockdown the building instantly in the event or emergency. Other benefits include better security and visitor tracking and increased control of student traffic.

During a previous school board meeting, Estacada School District superintendent Ryan Carpenter said he sees particular value in the instantaneous building locking feature. During his time as high school principal, the building's fastest lockdown time was four minutes and 13 seconds.

Starting on Jan. 2, those without key cards will need to enter the building through the front entrance.

Carpenter is eager to see the new door security in action.

"Anytime we can use 21st century technology to upgrade a facility to provide increased safety for our students is an exciting opportunity," he said. "Student safety continues to be our top priority, and we feel that this update alleviates many common safety concerns held by our community."

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