Photo illustration by Alberto Chaparro
Side to side comparison of old and new locks. New locks (right) lock from the inside for added security.
Over spring break, El Paso Community College had installations of new locksets for its classroom doors.
“This all started back in December and January. EPCC Police Department wanted to take precautions," said Rick Lobato, executive director of the Physical Plant at EPCC.
"You hear about all these terrible things that happen on other campuses (involving on-campus shootings).
"God forbid it ever happens on our campus, or any campus at all, but we want to take steps to be as prepared as we can if it ever comes to happen.”
The topic of open carry and concealed carry has put new policies concerning gun safety and open carry in Texas.
“The safety of our students is always a priority to us,” said Lobato.
“We are always trying to take more steps to ensure their safety. We have more things planned in the future but you have to start somewhere.”
Students seem to have mixed feelings about the new installment of these locks.
“I don’t see how it will help with the new gun laws, it is safer though,” said Crystina Santellanes, registered nursing major at EPCC, “It is a waste of money.
"The teachers could easily lock the door from the outside.”
The new locks have the capability of locking from the inside of the classroom, as opposed to the previous door knobs which locked from the outside with a key.
“I’m glad to see that EPCC is making certain changes in order to ensure the safety of its students and faculty,” said Jessica Lopez, accounting major at EPCC.
“The new locks do make me feel more safe and comfortable on campus.”
Lobato said that the next foreseeable project is installing locksets for the offices in the teachers’ offices.
Valle Verde was not the only campus to be treated with the new locksets.
The classrooms at EPCC’s Transmountain, Northwest, and Mission del Paso campuses also got new locksets.
The Rio Grande campus is next in line to receive the installment of these new locksets.
The team of Rick Torres, and locksmiths Carlos Delgado and Frank Chavez took part in this installment, along with the people from Door Solution.
The team was able to accomplish the project before students came back from spring break.