Suburban Scene, Oct. 27 -
Published Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 5:49 pm
Suburban Scene, Oct. 27

Ralston school district looks to enact new safety measures

The Ralston Public Schools are examining options for increasing school safety with the aim of having the first phase of changes in place by next school year.

Brad Dahl, assistant superintendent for business, said that the district's safety committee identified increased security as a need. The Ralston school board will have a chance to vote on proposals after they are developed.

“We want our schools to be open and inviting to the community,” Dahl said. “But I think there's a way to be welcoming while still being safe. Even if it is a little inconvenient for some, it's better to err on the side of safety.”

The school board heard a presentation on proposed school safety updates from Kidwell Inc.

The goals include limiting building access only to students, staff and authorized individuals and increasing situational awareness for district administrators and law enforcement personnel. Potential improvements include controlled access, card access and video surveillance.

Board President Linda Richards said the district should be more proactive on building security.

“We've been very cautious in looking at our options on this,” Richards said. “It's time to move. I would be very upset if we took more than a month on this.”

Springfield panel outlining benefits of bond proposal

Springfield's “Securing All Future Education” committee, or SAFE committee, is working online and in the community to encourage residents in the Springfield Platteview Community Schools district to vote for a $35.7 million bond issue.

The committee's Facebook page and Twitter account have been getting word out about reasons for the bond issue with examples of areas needing improvement. The committee is focusing on three topics: safety concerns, infrastructural needs and educational needs.

“A lot of our social media energy is dedicated to putting up pictures of conditions and challenges,” said Darren Carlson, the group's publicity chairman. “It makes it clear that the things asked for in the bond issue are needs, not luxuries. Our administrators and teachers are doing a great job at making 21st-century learners, but those are not 21st-century schools.”

Committee members canvassed the community last weekend and handed out information. They plan to pass out pamphlets and information at community events.

The election is being handled by mail. Ballots must be received by the Sarpy County Election Commission by Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. They can be mailed in or taken to the office.

Construction on Bellevue apartments to begin in spring

A 240-unit apartment complex at Bellevue's Twin Creek area will probably start construction in the spring, according to the developer.

Steve Johnson, managing partner at Twin Creek Development Company, said the site plan and architectural plans continue to be drawn up after the Bellevue City Council approved plans for five lots in the development.

SC Bodner Company Inc. of Indianapolis is building the complex on 14 acres, just north of the existing apartments that sit west of Marcus Cinema. The 240-unit project will take 14 or 15 months to build.

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