Safety advocate appalled by lack of school safety equipment

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - For the first time in a while, the Clark County School District opened several new elementary schools to kick off the 2017 school year.

The facilities opened in areas experiencing extreme overcrowding. Safety advocates say in the rush to open the schools, some of them had some glaring items missing.

"It is just unconscionable that you have schools opened up, with literally no safety improvements done," said Erin Breen from UNLV Vulnerable Road Users Project.

Contact 13 first reported issues at Shelley Berkley Elementary School in August.

Since then, Contact 13 looked into the other newly built elementary schools and found additional safety items missing.

Generally, each school should have the following:

  • Marked crosswalks
  • Sidewalks
  • School zone speed limit signs
  • Flashing school zone beacons

Contact 13 visited each of the new schools and noted the following:

Contact 13 asked the Clark County School District the following questions:

  • Why were these items apparently missing?
  • Why was there a delay?
  • Who is responsible for the delay?
  • Why were the schools opened despite the missing items?

A school district spokesperson provided the following statement:

 

Statement for Ch. 13 – New School Construction

New school construction is an ongoing process that continues even after the new school year has begun. We would like to thank the Facilities Division and our staff who worked tirelessly to have our six new schools open for the first day of classes on August 14. The schools will continue working with our community and the Clark County School District Police Department to ensure the safety of students at our schools.
The extent of work remaining to be done by the Clark County School District varies by location, but in the case of Berkley, Blackhurst and Mathis Elementary Schools, there are items around the school that will be ongoing, including the installation of flashers, cross walks and speed limit signage.
With the remaining work to be done, items such as flashing beacons are manufactured on an “as requested” basis, so those items are expected to be installed in the next 12-16 weeks as they are received. While some of the items are not expected to be completed until possibly December, progress is being made. At Berkley Elementary School, temporary speed limit signage and crosswalks were placed on Monday, August 28, and are now operable and functioning. Additional staff have been brought out in front of schools to help monitor and flaggers are in place at Mathis Elementary School to help direct traffic and increase safety. The CCSD Police Department also provides additional patrols as requested and when available depending upon other calls for service.
In addition, the schools mentioned have been in contact with their parent community through a variety of methods that include ParentLink messages, providing arrival and dismissal procedures and maps to keep them informed and to encourage their cooperation and safety as well as to help them navigate the area until all of the construction items are in place and operable.
The opening of the new schools was necessary due to the extreme overcrowding conditions that exist in many locations throughout the district. The new schools that opened this year were the highest priority in terms of new school construction due to the overcrowding that existed in the schools in each of those areas.
-- Clark County School District

 

There are 5 more elementary schools currently under construction and set to open in 2018. 

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