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News Item: Public Information Office

Newport Mesa Unified School District Board of Education approves recommendations to install fencing around the instructional areas of Adams and Victoria Elementary Schools; action for Andersen Elementary School fencing delayed for further study

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, the Board of Education approved recommendations to install fencing at Adams and Victoria Elementary School.  The Board also agreed to undertake a more in-depth analysis of the proposal for Andersen Elementary School and to take additional community and expert testimony before finalizing its direction to district staff. 

Recommended Designs for Adams and Victoria Elementary Schools: (graphics of the approved recommendations are attached – red lines indicate the areas proposed for fencing)

  • Adams Elementary School – wrought iron fencing/gates in front of school and along the side of the property in accordance with immediate viewscape criteria.  Playground to be completely enclosed.  Field would remain unfenced in order to be available to community use after school hours.
  • Victoria Elementary School – wrought iron fencing/gates in front of school and alongside of property in accordance with immediate viewscape criteria.  Both playground and field to be enclosed with controlled access during the school day. Field is already fenced.  Gate would be closed during school hours and open ½ hour before school and during non-school hours to be available to community access and use of field.

The District’s recommendations for fencing of the instructional areas were crafted in accordance with the following criteria:

1)  The safety of students is the highest priority. Fencing to protect against uncontrolled access is necessary at all elementary schools.
2)  The objective must be to increase staff’s response and reaction time during an incident in order to implement safety plans in an emergency.
3)  All access for non-staff shall be through the school office.
4)  Access to playground and playfield space for after-hours use by the community should be maintained wherever possible.
5)  The aesthetic appeal of the schools in the community needs to be considered.  Wrought iron rather than chain-link should be employed at the streetscape entrance of the school and adjacent to the immediate views cape of existing housing wherever feasible. Chain-link will be used in some interior areas to help control cost.
6)  All requirements of the Division of the State Architect (DSA) for Fire and Life Safety and Handicapped Access Compliance must be considered in accordance with law.
7)  Gates with panic bars for emergency egress (evacuation) will be required in numerous locations in accordance with DSA and the State and local fire marshal for the expeditions exiting of the building in the event of an emergency. No campus fencing scheme may legally be “locked down tight”.

Next Steps and Timeline:

Victoria and Adams:  The District will begin to work with architects on the recommended designs.  All designs are subject to review and approval by the Division of the State Architect (DSA), which can take six to nine months.  Architect (DSA) and the final approved designs may vary slightly upon implementation.  The District hopes to begin installation during Summer/Fall 2014. 

Andersen:  District staff will initiate contact with the Newport Beach Police Department as well as work with Andersen school administration, staff, parents and community members as part of the requested analysis process.         

Posted by: Laura Boss, District Admin, Newport Mesa Unified School District Published:11/13/13
Audience: Board, Adams Elementary School, Public Information Office, Board of Education, Homepage, Public Information Office, Andersen Elementary School, Board, Parents, Homepage and Victoria Elementary School