AHS receives BEST grant for security improvements

ALAMOSA — After applying to the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program in February, the Alamosa School District Board of Education heard the news during their Monday meeting that they will receive the funds needed to upgrade Alamosa High School’s security systems. AHS has been awarded $1,587,573 and the district will match that with $523,899.

The district hoped to have been notified earlier in April to allow for construction to start and finish before the next school year. However, the late notice will delay the timeline. The project will not likely begin until spring of 2019.

Since Ortega Middle School already received similar security upgrades from BEST, the extra time will be utilized so that AHS administrators can study what was done and pick out aspects that they like while discarding ones they don’t.

“It’s kind of like when you build a house, you wait for your kids to make the natural paths before you put in the cinderblock,” ASD Superintendent Robert Alejo said.

Currently, the planned improvements involve modifying the main east side entryway for screening and doors will be equipped with sensors and card readers. The administrative office will also be moved to have line of sight of the entrance and the east parking lot will be expanded.

“We celebrate getting it, but it’s also within the shadow of another tragedy,” Alejo said, referencing last week’s shooting at Santa Fe High School.