Within the last few weeks, Tolton Catholic High School hosted two visitors who reviewed our building for safety—an officer with the Columbia Police Department (CPD) and a member of the Columbia Fire Department—and both came away with positive findings for our school.
After a walk-through on February 28, the CPD reviewer said that TCHS was among the best, if not the best, education building he has reviewed in Boone County, from a safety perspective, because of how its design and construction facilitates evacuation and shelter options if there is a security breach and an intruder is in the building.
Administration requested the CPD to do a security review of the building and how well its design and construction would help protect our students, teachers and staff working in conjunction with our established procedures for a security breach by an intruder. The CPD trains schools and other institutions in a modified version of the ALICE program (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate), and the layout of a building and how its rooms, doors and windows are constructed can greatly aid its effectiveness. On May 8, CPD will present a training for faculty and staff on ALICE and safety procedures for a building intrusion. That training will help us develop a future program for students.
In another building review on March 18, the Fire Department inspector conducted the annual review of the school for compliance with all fire code requirements. TCHS not only passed its inspection with flying colors with no fire code violations, but nothing turned up that even merited a mild warning in the official report.
Kudos to our facilities manager, Dan Shimkus, and to Ron Comley, our maintenance staffer, for doing all they do to keep the building safe!