Monday, June 17, 2024
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Putnam County Schools Upgrading And Repairing Doors

The Putnam County School System set to change exterior doors and add escape hardware to allow students and faculty to freely exit while doors are locked.

Deputy Director Tim Martin said the $222,000 project will upgrade some 125 doors. He said Avery Trace Middle School, Cornerstone Elementary School, and Upperman High School will get the bulk of the repairs. He said doors have to be locked for security reasons, but people have to be able to exit without complication, especially in an emergency.

“When you’ve got a school and you have 1,000 kids every day go through that door, you know, you get a lot of wear and tear on them,” Martin said. “And we repair them as we can, and then sometimes, we just have to replace the entire hardware piece.”

Martin said the hardware will be on hand by June 30 and some will be installed immediately. Martin said replacing a push bar on a single door can cost between $1,500 and $2,000. He said the hardware is required by the Tennessee Fire Marshall’s Office.

He said some of the hardware will be stored and used on an as-needed basis as doors age over the next several years.

“We can lock those doors and keep people on the outside from getting in,” Martin said. “But if that fire alarm goes off, everybody has to be able to get out of the building without having to unlock a door or anything like that. They’ve got to be able to go straight through that door.”

The project is funded by a $400,000 Safety and Security Grant.

“Imagine if you’re in a school building or some big commercial building and it’s the kind of push bar that’s on a door,” Martin said. “So, you walk up to the door and you have to push the push bar to unlatch it and go through the get to the outside. That’s the hardware that we’re talking about.”

Martin said this escape hardware has been around for a while now, but some of the exterior doors at some of the district’s older buildings have not been latching correctly. He said with these materials on hand and ready to be installed whenever needed, that issue should not can be addressed next year wherever it presents itself.