A Quad City school is revealing a new addition that puts student safety first.
On Friday, March 15th, 2013, Bettendorf High School hosted a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate their latest renovation. The multi-million dollar project includes a state-of-the art theater, a revamped library/media center, plus a new entrance and main offices.
"Back when most of these buildings were built that have some age to them, you didn't give much consideration as to the location of the office being adjacent necessarily to a front entrance," says Dr. Theron Schutte, Superintendent of the Bettendorf Community School District.
The main office is now the first thing you'll see when walking into Bettendorf High School. Superintendent Schutte says it's that way for a reason so that you're the first thing they see when you walk in the door.
"This project will just help us be more efficient in being able to provide a secure facility for our students and staff that work here as well as to process anyone that may be visiting the school," says Dr. Schutte.
Yesterday -- March 14th, 2013 -- marked three months since the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting when 20 students and six staff members were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Dr. Schutte says it's those kinds of tragedies that make security top priority.
"There's no question that there's a greater sense of urgency to take care of certain things as a result of these unfortunate incidents that have happened and may happen in the future and we want to do everything in our power to try to do what we can to prevent it from happening here."
Parents touring the renovations on Friday night say they're thankful for the time and money spent on security measures.
"It puts my mind at ease especially with my first grader knowing that wherever she goes in any building in this district that she'll be safe," says Dana Nichols, who also teaches in the district.
"Sometimes it's a hassle when you have to go through the locked doors or whatever, but it's so important that the kids that are inside they're safe inside and that you do have to go through these levels of security to get at them," says Laurie Hughes.
Dr. Schutte says the district's next project is improving the front entrance and main offices at Bettendorf Middle School.