WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Wheeling drivers–you’ve probably taken notice of all the construction at Woodsdale Elementary School.

Renovations have stretched from last year into this one, with crews still hard at work on a safety-minded remodel.

It’s one of the Friendly City’s most visible education buildings—and that’s why Principal Ashlea Minch says the security upgrades can’t come soon enough.

I mean, Route 88 to Oglebay and back is probably one of the more frequented in our county other than National Road, and it’s right off of National Road.

Ashlea Minch, Principal, Woodsdale Elementary

With the passage of Ohio County Schools’ bond levy in 2018, heightened safety was high on the priority list.

Now they’re making sure visitors are vetted in every school–including Woodsdale.

One way to make that happen is with a term that’s new to many of us—a ‘security vestibule.’

Nearly all their buildings either have one or are close to starting the installation process.

We’ve done man traps in every building, we’ve upgraded cameras either already in every building or in the process of being upgraded, purchased two-way radios for every school, so we should all be up to date on those.

Rick Jones, Assistant Superintendent, Ohio County Schools

True to its name, a man trap makes sure those who come in have a valid reason for being there.

Wheeling Park’s entrance has received glowing reviews from parents and students since opening in February.

When you walk in now, instead of having access to the whole school, you have to go through a process and you’re basically as the process indicates, trapped in an area until the secretary or whoever knows that you’re a safe person, and then you’ll be let into the building from there.

Rick Jones, Assistant Superintendent, Ohio County Schools

Grades 1 through 12 hit the books again in just two and a half weeks.

The improvements are expected to be done in time for August 23rd, even if a few cranes will be around when teachers set up their classrooms.

The improvements are going to be so amazing that it’s worth the kind of headache that we’re dealing with right now.

Ashlea Minch, Principal, Woodsdale Elementary

The past several years have added worry after worry for schools.

But with these improvements, Ohio County parents can take comfort when their student first steps on the bus later this month.