NORTHFIELD CENTER — The administration has been discussing the possibility of constructing vestibules at the entrances of each of the school buildings, especially if its November levy passes. However, one thing Board President Chad Lahrmer wanted to make clear: this does not mean the reconstructing of each school’s entryway.

"We are trying to be cost-conscious and retrofitting as much as we can," Lahrmer said during the school board’s Aug. 27 meeting. "We didn’t just make this up. There was a lot of thought that went into it. Some had in mind a telephone booth type setting, and this is not what we had in mind."

Having a vestibule at the entrances would increase security at the school buildings, Lahrmer added. The vestibules would most likely function like a bank booth.

According to information provided by the district earlier this summer, the vestibules would have teller-style check-in booths at each building. The booths would include bulletproof glass and a drawer for item drop off. The projected cost, a one-time expense, is estimated at $300,000, and would also include an entry door alert system, which would notify the main office if an unmonitored entry door is opened.

Superintendent Joe Clark said the district would hire security personnel to staff the booths.

The school board in May unanimously approved placing a continuing 6.98-mill operating levy on the Nov. 6 ballot. The levy will cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $41 per month and will provide the district with nearly $7 million.

The vestibules would look different in each school due to the differing configurations of the buildings, Lahrmer added.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423,, or @AprilKHelms_RPC