Guilford County Schools adds security to protect schools damaged by tornado

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive at either Erwin Montessori, Hampton Elementary or Peeler Open Elementary Schools in Greensboro are the metal fences.

On the school’s roofs are blue tarps to protect it after last Sunday’s tornado.

However, before the fences and the tarps were brought in, Guilford County Schools made the decision to add a watchful eye to all three schools.

“So, we had security out there Sunday evening. We actually called a firm out to come and watch our schools,” said Scott McCully, Guilford County Schools chief operations officer.

Hours after the storm hit, the district hired East Coast Protective Services Inc. because of how extensive damage was to all three schools. The three schools are still closed.

“We have no power to the buildings. So, therefore we do not have the fire alarms or any of the other alarm systems working and by state statute we have to have what they call fire watch,” McCully said.

He says it's a part of protocol to either have someone come and fix the power at a facility or bring in security to watch it 24/7.

The power remains off at those schools.

“Certainly, it's to keep a perimeter and monitor who is coming and going. That includes our contractors and our other staff. They keep track of individuals who are entering our building and then also to make sure nothing is happening to the building itself,” McCully said.

The school district says there are at least two officers that patrol each school.

While their job is to keep an eye on everything, they also want to make sure no one who is not supposed to be on the property gets hurt.

“It's just unsafe for families and for other folks to get that close to our buildings. We have a lot of disturbed soil,” McCully said.

Right now, the district says there's no timetable for how long they will need security. They are still figuring out how much this will eventually cost too.

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