• LaBella Associates

Main Office Relocations Put Access Control Within Reach at Rush-Henrietta CSD

Three elementary schools in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District are now more secure, thanks to the 2019 Capital Improvement Project (CIP). LaBella worked with the District to address the long-time challenge of screening visitors at Crane, Leary, and Winslow Elementary Schools. With the school administrative offices located a significant distance from the main entries in all three floorplans, visitors were buzzed in to the school with significant access to main school corridors before encountering check-in procedures in the main office.

LaBella created small additions adjacent to the front entrance of each school, allowing the main and principal offices to relocate closer to the entries. These new offices use a safety and security approach that emphasizes visual oversight, with views of the bus loop, main entry vestibule, and interior lobby and corridors. This direct observation allows for stronger pupil supervision at arrival and dismissal times, and restricts visitors at all hours from accessing the rest of the school until they are invited to do so. New access control systems give staff the technology to implement their screening processes effectively, while maintaining a welcoming environment.

Ordinarily, building codes would have prohibited the amount of transparency desired by the District, as opaque, masonry fire walls would have been required for fire separation between the existing school and new additions. However, by specifying advanced materials, providing additional safety enhancements in the neighboring cafeteria, and verifying safe exiting routes elsewhere in the building, LaBella was able to negotiate a code variance with the State. The variance allowed the design team to combine renovated and new space to create a more generous office area, use forced-entry-resistant and fire-rated glass walls for better visual connection and security, and avoid the expense of fire wall construction.

The original main office spaces were renovated into counseling staff offices and conference rooms. The CIP project also included replacing boilers, removing an oil tank, replacing library carpeting, and reconstructing, enlarging, and lighting the main parking lot at Crane Elementary.