Securing the new school

USD 257 board members approved various spending requests that will bring security systems to the new Iola Elementary School when it opens next fall. The systems include cameras and keycards for entry.



March 16, 2022 - 1:01 AM

Crews with Born Masonry install exterior brick at the site of the new Iola Elementary School, slated to open in the fall. This angle shows the library, which faces south along Monroe Street. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

A new Iola Elementary School may still be under construction, but it’s already time to start thinking about how to protect it.

USD 257 board members approved a series of expenditures for security measures.

Allison Le, an architect with SJCF of Wichita, presented proposals for a security system, including cameras and keycards for entry.

The vestibules will feature secured entry, with doors that are locked except at times when students arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon. 

All other doors will remain locked, and only authorized users will have access via keycards. That includes teachers.

A system of 43 interior and exterior cameras will monitor all public spaces.

The total price tag for the security system is $56,748.73; the request was approved.

The board also agreed to pay a little more than $15,500 for wireless access points at the new school.

The district recently updated its wireless system. They’ll take the system out of the three elementary schools this summer and install them in the new building. 

However, that will still leave a need for 18 wireless access points. The new products will be a slightly newer model, but still compatible with the existing system. 

The board approved that purchase, as well.

Crews with Born Masonry install exterior brick at the site of the new Iola Elementary School, slated to open in the fall. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

AND while they’re making upgrades, board members agreed to spend a little more than $26,000 to sand and refinish the Iola High School gymnasium floor and basketball court.

The gym floor has been refinished just once since it was installed.

The plan calls for a few minor changes, such as removing electrical outlets on the floor and replacing some areas of rotten or water-damaged wood.

It also will remove the “Fillies” moniker and update the logo. The lanes will be painted a lighter color.

April activities

Middle school students will get an extra day off on April 12 as the Terry Lower Invitational track meet returns.

The track meet was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reduced to a much smaller event last year with just seven schools.

This year’s event will be a return to normal, with 20 schools invited. 

Middle school staff and faculty will help with the event, which is why classes will be canceled.

The next day, April 13, high school students will attend school remotely. No, not because of the pandemic. Because of music.

IHS will welcome the State Large Group Music festival, and participants will need to utilize much of the space at the high school.

The Bowlus typically hosts such events but is booked that day.

Most teachers will still be in their classrooms, and students who have failing grades will be asked to attend to do make-up work. Others will need to log on virtually.

IN OTHER news, Superintendent Stacey Fager told board members about efforts to expand the Rural Regional Technical Center at LaHarpe by offering an automotive mechanics class. Nothing has been finalized.


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