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New Security System Locks Down on Safety

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For 70 years, the Gilmour Academy Upper and Middle School Campus has been an open establishment. To optimize security, the easy access campus changed to a closed campus system on Tuesday, February 21.

Mr. David Pfundstein, Dean of Students, said about 60 security cameras have been installed around the Upper School over the last few months. Mrs. Kathleen Kenny, Head of School, and Ms. Rhonda Rickelman, Director of Auxiliary Planning, started this project in November 2016. After several months of research and investigation of the entire campus, Kenny decided to move forward with the security system.

Kenny said, “No single incident resulted in this decision. It was time. Both Laurel and Hathaway Brown experienced intrusions in  the fall and through the generosity of two family foundations, Gilmour is now able to reduce our vulnerability.”

Final plans began using Gilmour’s Information Tech department. Mr. Greg Nagle and Mr. Mike Dobler worked with cameras and software to advance the project. According to Rickelman, “They were consultants and contractors for the implementation of the project.” The project’s main goal was to provide security for all students and faculty on the campus. This includes being able to document locations of people via the use of swipe cards, guest sign-ins and cameras.

Overall, students and faculty are adapting to the new security system in positive ways. Many view the swipe card system as a small inconvenience that allows a much more secure campus for everyone. Pfundstein said, “The students who are in our care for eight hours, will now be in a safer environment.”

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Jordan Robinson is a senior at Gilmour Academy. She moved from New Jersey to Cleveland before coming to Gilmour freshman year. Next year, as an incoming freshman in college, she hopes to major in Psychology with a minor in political science. After her internship last summer at Case Western Reserve School of Law, she gained an interest in the interaction with people and what the actions of people mean. Jordan is interested in journalism because she feels like it is a means to get her voice out into the world that can help others. Her ideal job would be a defense attorney to represent clients that otherwise would not have a voice.