By Aziza Jackson
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — School officials are finding several ways to build the new Willoughby South High School that promotes an inclusive campus design without compromising security for students and staff.
The project consists of a $47 million, 245,000-square-foot campus that has been branded as a community-focused development project called “Union Village.”
The campus will consist of a two-story high school that also includes a new YMCA, and senior center. The school’s four-court field house with a talking track and eight-lane competition pool will be shared and operated by the YMCA.
ThenDesign Architecture (TDA) is serving as the architect on the project and Greenspace Construction Services has been selected as the construction manager at risk.
FOX 8 Cleveland reports that the new high school is set to open in fall of 2019 and includes sweeping curved walls and wide-open spaces in its design.
“As you make areas open and accessible, how do you do that without compromising safety and security of staff and students?” said Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools Superintendent Steve Thompson to FOX 8. “You can see this is an enclosed courtyard so they’ll have access to the sun and be able to come out into this courtyard and get out during the school day but not compromise safety.”
According to FOX 8, a wall of windows in the school’s student union purposely doesn’t face the outside.
The school’s entrance is also reported to be a security measure complete with a vestibule and background-check system that everyone who enters the building must go through.
Police are also reportedly able to see a virtual map of the school in their cruisers while also being able to remotely control security cameras throughout the building in the event they need to locate a suspect or intruder.
“The building is set up in sections so we’ll be able to lock a building down electronically and make it very difficult for an active shooter to move from one section of the building into another section,” Thompson said to FOX 8.
The district has reportedly invested $38 million into the new school with at least a couple million going to all the new security measures according to Thompson.
A report from FOX 8 Cleveland contributed to this story.