One of the biggest building projects which ASL has undertaken since the Community Arts Building and Aquatics Center completion is going to be begin on June 18. Over the summer and during most part of the first semester of next year, the main school entrance on Waverley Place will be rebuilt and redesigned to provide a safer, improved, and more modern entrance for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors alike.
The construction is likely to last until December 2018. During this time, students will use the Loudoun Road entrance and a gate on Waverley Place by the new art building to enter and exit the school grounds.
According to an email sent to all staff by the Director of Operations Mr. Jim Heynderickx, “A larger, temporary entrance gate will be installed on the Waverley sidewalk near the art building.” He also stated that the busses in the morning would use the Loundon Entrance for drop offs and pickups.
Two pieces of glass will be manufactured and will canopy the new entrance. The pieces of glass will be bulletproof and will provide an increased amount of protection to the school and its community. According to Head of School Mrs. Robin Appleby, the reason for the two glass panels not touching is “it is engineered to reduce the possibility that any of that glass would shatter.” This will be done by allowing a gap between the two glass panels.
Another part of the design is the creation of a stone wall about waist height, which will be situated further out than the current end of the steps. On either side of the new wall, there will be two entrances for the students, faculty, and staff who will be able to enter the building from either side. This will increase the security protection of the school by minimizing the ability for an intruder to enter the school. The addition of the wall is a security measure designed to protect the entrance and the campus from an intruder who would be wanting to enter the school without being caught or checked by security.
The new wall will enhance the security features of the school because if someone wanted to enter the school and not be caught by security they would have to run up the front steps and there would be no protective barrier to protect the school campus and community from the immediate threat. But with the addition of the wall, there will be a reduced risk.
A third part of the design will include the replacement of the metal blocks outside by a marble wall, which will reach out to the oval outside of the Waverley entrance. This part of the design is to stop an intruder from entering the school by car.
Within the new design, a lift will also be built to allow people in wheelchairs or with prams to have an easier time to access the building. The lift will be built to the left-hand side of the transportation office, reducing its size.
over the summer, to create a strong foundation for the new entrance, builders will have to dig down to the kitchen so that when the entrance is built, underneath there will be a strong foundation to ensure that the entrance is as strong and as safe as possible. This will not change the way the school operates during the summer as the kitchen is closed and will not be in use for this time. The kitchen will reopen at the start of the new academic year.
At the start of the next academic year, there will be another change to the way students, faculty and staff will be processed. All students, staff, and parents will receive new IDs at the start of the school year, which will be checked by the security guards using new handheld technology.
This newly improved security measure will begin in August, at the start of the school year, and will continue when the new entrance opens in November or December. This will force students and members of staff to be checked by security whether they are a member of the ASL community not.The barriers at the current Waverley entrance will remain and will help add another layer to the security measures.
The final design will make the school more protected in all ways and means for the future to come.