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Oklahoma City teachers concerned about classrooms without working locks

Teachers at two Oklahoma City schools say their schools have classrooms with no locks or broken locks. Other classrooms without locks dot the district. District officials say they are fixing the problem.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: February 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm •  Published: February 15, 2013

But hiccups happen, Burkey said. Some locks aren't delivered on time. Some don't fit. So classrooms are left with the wrong locks or without locks altogether.

Burkey said officials are working to prevent that from happening by taking the following steps:

• Instead of allowing contractors to throw away old locks, the district will hold on to the hardware in case new hardware isn't available or doesn't come in on time. “We'll at least have something to install,” Burkey said. Then, when the new, correct locks arrive, the old ones can be ditched.

• By stockpiling a variety of old locks and keeping them on hand, maintenance workers will have access to hardware that can be installed in a pinch.

• Doors that lock from inside are the new standard for schools, said Scott Vrooman, owner and principal architect at TriArch, a firm based in Tulsa that has designed schools across the state. It's also a cheap way to improve security on older buildings, he said.

“What you want to do with architecture is delay the predator, make it harder to get in the door,” Vrooman said. “The No. 1 thing is the locks on the inside of the doors. It's the lowest-budget item with the highest rate of return.”


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