SOMSD to implement security upgrades at Underhill in Maplewood

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — South Orange–Maplewood Superintendent of Schools Ronald G. Taylor announced July 7 that — after many conversations and assessments of the current security infrastructure at the Underhill facility with our Maplewood Township officials, Maplewood Police Chief Jimmy DeVaul, Board of Education President Thair Joshua and Columbia High School Principal Frank Sanchez — the school district is moving forward with security upgrades for the facility. 

This comes after the June 6 shooting of CHS soccer star Moussa Fofana, 18, at the facility, resulting in his death. Another student was also shot in the incident and survived.

“As is the case with security updates, we cannot be specific about the steps that we are taking as they could potentially make us vulnerable,” Taylor said. “To allow for the completion of this project, we will only authorize the use of Underhill for our student-athletes while under the supervision of our coaches.”

According to Taylor, these scheduled sporting activities will begin July 12.

“Members of the public will not be allowed to utilize Underhill until the upgrade project is completed,” Taylor said. “When our student-athletes are not using Underhill, it will remain secured. We do understand the inconvenience this may cause for some community members who regularly use our track or field for recreational purposes, but we believe this is a necessary step as we move forward with the project.”

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