Prescott USD Finds a Solution to Break-Ins

Prescott USD finds a solution to frequent break-ins and entrance maintenance headaches with SL-17 FRP doors

The Prescott, Arizona Unified School District had high expectations when the exterior doors on Prescott High School were totally replaced by a steel door product featuring a proprietary hardware package that integrates the pull, latch release and push bar into the structure of the door.   With 1,800 students in grades 9 through 12, Prescott High is not unlike most schools today, with too few staff and inadequate maintenance budgets. Problems with the integrated hardware on the exterior doors became evident immediately, with continual adjustment being required to keep the entrances functioning properly, along with occasional reattachment of door pulls that fell off. The facility maintenance staff didn’t need any more headaches, but their exterior entrances had become a big one.     The unconventional design of these doors also created a vulnerability that was much more troubling. Featuring a swiveling channel on the lock edge of the door that engages a post on the frame header to latch the door, students quickly figured out that with a hard pull on the door, the channel would deform, allowing the door to be opened even when locked. Kids will be kids, and once word got around about this weakness of the door, none of the exterior entrances could be positively secured. Students were able to enter the school at will, at all hours of the day or night.

Special-Lite offers a solution in a risk-free, no-cost trial installation to replace steel doors

Barbara Serago of Special-Lite, Inc. convinced the district to place a free pair of SL-17 FRP doors in the worst location on the school to prove their superior performance and resistance to forced entry. The doors between the gymnasium and the football field, consistently one of the toughest locations on any school, were replaced with FRP doors in July of 2007. The doors have since endured attempted forced entries, but have yet to yield.   The trouble-free operation and enhanced security provided by these Special-Lite doors have made believers out of the facility staff at Prescott Unified School District. As funding becomes available from building renewal and donation sources, more and more entrances are being replaced with Special-Lite doors and framing.     Perhaps the best endorsement for the performance of the Special-Lite doors comes from the distributor who sold the problematic steel doors to many school systems in Arizona. They no longer will sell the product for installations at educational facilities. This company is now signed on to distribute Special-Lite doors and framing to the schools in their state. Problems with the steel doors are certainly not unique to Prescott, so we expect our distributors to be busy for some time to come installing replacement SL-17 FRP doors.




Prescott, AZ


SL-17 Pebble Grain FRP/Aluminum Hybrid Doors