Santa Fe ISD to implement new safety procedures in time for the new school year

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- When Santa Fe High School students return to school in less than two weeks, there will be parts of their school that will look much different.

Eyewitness News got an up-close look at some of the changes that have been made since the mass shooting May 18.

Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is charged, accused of killing eight students and two teachers.

A significant change is right at the main entrance. It is almost finished after a complete re-design so that students can focus on learning.

"All the things we're here for and not worry about safety," explained Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall after a tour of the school.

By the first day of school, August 20, there will be nine metal detectors installed, distributed among three entrances.

The vestibule at the main entrance will be reinforced with concrete walls and bullet-resistant glass.

Near the art room, the site of the shooting, students and teachers will navigate around new hallways. It is still off limits.

"That will be closed off and not open for traffic so the reconfiguration of hallways allow for traffic flow around it," Wall said.

Wall says even as the district continued to cope and grieve, they worked with the community on the changes.

The heightened security will include additional locks and panic buttons in classrooms, 10 civilian security assistants and more police officers district-wide.

The Santa Fe ISD Police Chief is increasing his force from eight to 13 officers.

"We're going to have officers assigned and present at all campuses on a full-time basis," he said.

The changes are a $1.6 million investment, implemented in a few short months in an effort to prevent any more violence.

"We have considered and will continue to consider everything we possibly can so that everyone who comes through these doors will feel confident and safe. And, I would say, safest school in the nation." Wall added.

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