Students return to safer TCU Schools

Most students won’t even notice the beefed up safety measures that were made to ensure Tri-City United Schools are as safe as possible, but over the past year or so, the security to the buildings have been increased with cameras and door systems. 

The most recent upgrade has been at the Lonsdale Elementary School over the summer. TCU Facilities Manager Dave Petersen said that the entrance to the school received a safety overhaul, much like the Montgomery Elementary/Middle School did the previous summer. He explained that the vestibule was extended so those visiting the building are required to enter through the main office. That way all visitors are funneled past the front desk to sign in before gaining access to the students and staff.

He added that before and after regular hours at the Lonsdale school, a camera and buzzer system is in place to alert office staff of visitors. 

“We’ve limited access at all the buildings. It used to be that every door was open all day. Now, unless there’s something like a concert, the only entrance into the schools is through the front doors,” Petersen said. “We want to be ahead of the game and be able to keep track of who is in and out of the buildings.”

Another advantage to the increase in security is the reduction of vandalism to the buildings. By controlling damage, the district is saved from having to spend money on repairs.

Change can be difficult, and Petersen said with having so many locked doors at each facility he has had to explain why to some frustrated parents. Once they are told it’s to control safety, he said they all understand and want the students and staff to be as safe as possible. 

“The public knows –– they watch the news,” Petersen added. “They don’t want anything happening at their schools.”

For questions on TCU security, Petersen can be contacted by phone at  507-364-8105, or email

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