I urge my fellow citizens to consider improved safety of our students as a major feature of the proposed Walla Walla High School renovation. The physical design of the campus can greatly impact the ability of both staff and students to react during an emergency.
No one likes to make decisions from a place of fear, but recent violent events in both Connecticut and California have made me mindful of how we can best support the professionals we ask not only to instruct our students but to keep them safe.
The redesign of Wa-Hi introduces internal hallways to buildings and internal doors to classrooms, replacing buildings that are accessed externally from approximately 120 separate entrances. In current plans, that number will be cut to approximately 20 or fewer external doors.
These changes will allow for improved control and monitoring of student movement, while still preserving students’ interaction with the natural setting of the campus with its picturesque creek and bridges.
When I entrust my greatest treasure to a staff who are trained and ready to keep them safe in unforeseen and unimaginable circumstances, these features will provide an extra measure of security and perhaps buy time that is beyond value.
Our children and their educational guardians deserve our support — for safety and for an improved educational experience. Join me in voting “yes” on the Wa-Hi bond.