St. Katherine’s takes steps to beef up school security

The school added an extra set of steel doors and more surveillance cameras over the summer.

Over the summer, St. Katherine of Siena School in Torresdale constructed a new set of steel doors near the building’s main entrance. SOURCE: NICOLE DONOHUE

Students who returned to St. Katherine of Siena School in Torresdale last week may have noticed a few changes.

Over the summer, the school constructed a new set of steel doors near the main entrance and installed security cameras around the perimeter of the building.

Nicole Donohue, the school’s advancement director, said the alterations are aimed at enhancing security and keeping up with the times. The school, which was built in 1961, serves about 620 students in grades Pre-K through eighth, Donohue said.

“We just kind of saw the need in this day and age,” she said. “You can never be too safe. We can’t think we’re above it.”

The new steel doors force visitors to come to the main office — working almost as a cattle chute, Donohue said. Previously, people who entered the school had access to the classroom area.

St. Katherine of Siena Parish paid for the doors, according to Donohue.

The school also installed a number of new security cameras around the property. Last year, the school had video surveillance only of the main entrance, Donohue said.

“They’re every few feet around the entire perimeter of the building,” Donohue said about the new cameras.

From the main office, employees at St. Katherine of Siena School can view surveillance footage from a number of cameras. The school installed security cameras around the entire perimeter of the building over the summer. SOURCE: NICOLE DONOHUE

She said the principal also receives a notification when the cameras pick up somebody approaching the school.

Donohue said funding for the new camera system was provided by Burns Funeral Home, which is next to the school on Frankford Avenue. ••