Architects testified before the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Friday and spoke of new security measures that would make schools safer, but stressed there's no way to completely eliminate the risk of violence inside schools.
A variety of recommendations were offered to the 16-member panel with a common theme: each school building is unique. No two schools are the same and different security and safety measures will work in different school districts, while not being able to work in others.
"There's no one-size-fits-all solution," said Jim LaPosta of JCP Architecture. "There's nothing we can do to guarantee a risk-free environment through intervention on the social side and physical environments."
Expert architects informed Gov. Dannel Malloy's panel about school infrastructure designs, safety and security.
The panel said it's listening to recommendations for future legislative and policy changes. Among those changes includes offering advice on periodic security reviews, strengthening a school district's dialogue with first responders and reporting results to the state on a regular basis.
Glenn Gollenberg of the S/L/A/M Collaborative in Glastonbury said there are different levels of reinforcing glass, all the way up to bulletproofing. But, Gollenberg said, that could be costly.
The cost to replace and reinforce classroom windows could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000.
Just one window in every one of the state's 1,800 schools would cost $4 million.
Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson heads the panel and said there are other low and no-cost options too, and each community will have its own decision-making process.
"The notion that we can help provide a roadmap on how to think about security in existence gives schools the opportunity to enhance themselves even though they look nothing like one another," he said.
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