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Palomar Escondido Center Construction

ESCONDIDO – Construction began at the Palomar Escondido Center for a new security fence in Sept. 2023.

At the beginning of the 2023 fall semester, the Palomar College Escondido Center began construction on a new fence surrounding the perimeter of the campus around Midway Drive and Valley Parkway.

Scheduled for completion in early April 2024, the fence is in response to an increase in Escondido’s homeless population in an attempt to prevent people who don’t belong on campus from wandering in.

After recent rises in the rate of vandalism on campus, including graffiti and vagrancy, facilities manager Dennis Astl hopes the fence will provide the school with a more secure learning environment. “The purpose of the project is to improve the level of safety and security for the students, faculty and staff at the education center,” he said.

In addition to the fence, new vehicle gates, traffic barriers, pedestrian entrances and license plate reading cameras are also being installed around the learning center to better monitor who is coming in and out.

The fence is estimated to be complete by April 2024, however production delays and weather conditions have gotten in the way and temporarily slowed down progress on the project. “These days there are a lot of material delivery delays because of production delays across the country on various items,” said Astl. “And hopefully the rain stops, that will help too,” he added.

Students have high hopes for the project and look forward to their new, more secure campus.

Palomar student Tyr Cloud is in support of the fence and recalls a time before the fence was built when they felt very unsafe on campus. “Last semester I was caught in a lockdown on campus where we had to stay after class and I felt very scared, if it were to happen again I will definitely feel safer with a fence,” they said.

Additionally, the project sounds extremely promising to faculty and staff who really understand the need for a secure school environment.

Palomar faculty member, Julie Lanthier Bandy also expressed her support for the fence and how important it is for her to be able to feel secure on campus. “As an employee, when you feel safe you’re more motivated and more likely to feel comfortable in your environment. So it really is a win-win for everyone,” said Bandy.

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