Selecting A Fence For Your Small, Private School

If you operate a small, private school or oversee the grounds of such a school, then security has to be one of your top priorities. One way to keep the kids safer and more secure is to install a fence around the schoolyard. Here are some considerations to take into account as you choose a fence and work with your fence company to have it installed.

Vinyl is a great material choice.

Vinyl makes a very good material for a school yard fence, especially when you select a solid, privacy-style fence. The vinyl won't splinter like wood, so you don't have to worry about kids injuring themselves when they touch it. Plus, it will hold up to them crashing into the fence or bumping into it as they play. 

Vinyl is also low-maintenance. You do not have to scrape it, and you don't have to treat it with waterproofing agents, either. This is good news since, as the operator of a small school, you probably already have more than enough obligations on your plate!

Vinyl-coated chain link can be a good, affordable alternative.

The downfall to vinyl privacy fences is that they can be a bit costly. If you're looking to keep costs down, you might want to consider vinyl-coated chain link fencing instead. It comes at a much lower price, and if you have some handy people in the school community, they should be able to install it themselves without having to hire a fencing contractor. (A vinyl privacy fence is much harder to install; you'll need to hire a professional.

Of course, you can see through a vinyl-coated chain link fence, so the neighbors and passersby will be able to see the students. This may not be a big deal in a rural area or a good community, but you might want to pay a bit more for a solid vinyl fence if your school is in a less-safe area.

It's best to steer clear of wood.

Regardless of what material you choose, you really should steer clear of wood. It can crack and become a hazard to students, due to the sharp edges and splinters. Plus, the stains and waterproofing agents you apply to it may present a hazard to younger students who may not know not to lick their fingers after they touch the fence.

Make sure you include a gate with keypad access.

If you will be fencing in the entire schoolyard, you will need to allow a way for parents and others who do belong on the grounds to enter. Passing out keys to everyone in the school community isn't exactly feasible, and your office staff may not want to spend half their day opening and closing the gate. So, a keypad entry system can be a good alternative. You can give all of the parents the code at the beginning of the year. The next year, you can change the code. This way, the code does not make its way out to too many "extra" people before you change it again. 

Don't be afraid to vary the fencing type if needed.

Keep in mind that you may not need the same type of fence along the front of the property as you do along the side. You could use solid privacy fencing across the side where your school property borders residences to keep from bothering homeowners, but chain link fence across the front so those that drive by can admire the property and see what the school has to offer. Consider different configurations until you find a combination that meets your needs exactly.

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