With the start of the 2006-07 academic year last week, Abrams Hebrew Academy in Yardley unveiled a multi-level security system, made possible by a Homeland Security Grant. The school applied for the grant in February of 2005, and received approval that August.
This system is just one of several recent upgrades to the campus; Abrams unveiled its new Henrietta Milstein School Building in January.
A number of upgrades and amenities — including institutional-wide air-conditioning and wireless networked computers — are part of the Milstein facility.
The school raised $3 million for the entire project — from the construction to the latest contemporary features.
The brand-new building connects to the existing school facility, saving the children from having to walk outside during inclement weather.
"They don't have to go outside ever," said Rabbi Ira Budow, the school's principal. "From a security standpoint, once they walk in, they're in."
The principal also touted the security system, into which the school invested some $250,000.
The push for this came from parents.
"It's the world that we live in," added Budow.
Mothers and fathers want to keep their kids safe at all costs, he noted, and they were "amazed and happy at what we were able to produce."
Measures include security-card access, video cameras, and high, reinforced fences around the premises.
The old school building, however, is certainly not going to waste. Budow explained that its more traditionally styled classrooms have now metamorphasized into the art and music departments.
The motivation for the new building was straightforward: "It was to give the best education to our children," declared Budow. "It was just an improvement on what the kids used to be in. It's a major upgrade; we put them in a state-of-the-art facility."
The principal has an additional reason to celebrate, he noted, since the school's enrollment has already seen a boost.