By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Denair High security fencing taking shape
denair fencing
Security fences are gradually being installed around the Denair High School campus this month, with gates at the front of the school being installed first. Fencing at the back of the campus will be installed next spring (Photo courtesy of DUSD).

Security is getting a bit tighter on the campus of Denair High School, as the first of two phases to install fencing around the campus officially got underway this month.

The installation of security fences and entrance gates is expected to be completed in the coming days. Denair Unified Superintendent Terry Metzger explained that this was a project years in the making, with the primary objective being to protect students, staff and school property.

“DHS’s campus is by far our most open and accessible campus,” Metzger said. “We love this for the community feel, but it poses some significant security concerns. Specifically, the lack of fencing at the perimeter of the school means that people have easy access to the school during the weekends and evenings, and we’ve seen some vandalism and theft as a result.”

Denair High’s open campus became a hot topic this past winter. On Dec. 15, students at nearby Denair Elementary Charter Academy reported a suspicious man near the campus with what appeared to be a firearm. After no threat was detected by campus officials and local law enforcement, the campus and District received criticism for not placing schools on lockdown despite campuses like DHS having multiple open points of entry.

The project to install security fencing around the campus was already in motion at the time of the incident.

The first phase of the project also involves repurposing existing wrought-iron fencing that surrounded the amphitheater in the interior of the campus. Members of the school district’s maintenance staff removed the fencing, while Denair Fencing, Inc. was hired to install the new posts and security gates.

“That interior fencing wasn’t really providing security and relocating it is allowing us to open up the quad area in the center of the campus, which is better for our growing enrollment,” Metzger said.

The result will be a fence around the perimeter of the campus beginning at the south parking lot near the stadium and gym and continuing around the main office and classrooms adjacent to the north parking lot. All visitors to campus will be funneled through the main office, where they must sign in.

The security gates will be opened to allow students and staff to enter campus before classes begin at 8:30 a.m., locked throughout the day and then re-opened when school is over in mid-afternoon.

The second phase of the project is expected to begin and be completed next spring. It will extend the security fencing around the back side of the campus, where the ag classrooms and shop areas are located.