Customer Success Story: Adding Ballistic Storefront Systems to 5 Schools

After the 2023 school shooting in Nashville, a Virginia school system decided to harden the security in five of their schools. Their goal was to be protected against the type of rifle used in the Nashville shooting. But, they couldn’t do it alone.

The school system hired Kontek, a security integrator, to conduct an on-site assessment and provide recommendations. TSS and Kontek regularly collaborate on projects and Kontek knew TSS would be the perfect ballistic partner for the bulletproof barrier element of their project.

Creating Custom Bulletproof Storefront Systems 

The school system had an idea of the types of ballistic barriers they needed based on their consultation with Kontek. However, they needed input from ballistic experts to flesh out the design, specify details, and engineer the entire structure. The only way to accomplish this is through careful on-site pre-work. Taking exact measurements is critically important to the success of the project. So, three TSS representatives flew to Tennessee to walk through each school, take measurements, and provide recommendations. 

Our team was then able to design and engineer bulletproof barriers that fit the schools’ spaces and aesthetics perfectly. Based on the schools’ threat level, guidance from Kontek, and TSS’ recommendations, the school system landed on a ballistic storefront system design. A storefront system is a style of protected building entrance. They include bulletproof windows and a door and can be used almost anywhere—even if the facility isn’t technically a “store.”

The five bulletproof systems included:

Together, these elements created a secure environment that keeps intruders from entering the building and harming faculty, staff, and students during a lockdown event. A third-party company provided security window film for all exterior windows. Security window film is not a replacement for bulletproof glass because it can’t stop a bullet. But, window film can make breaking a window more difficult. (If you’re not sure if bulletproof glass or security window film is right for you, please reach out to us for a recommendation.)


An entryway in one of the Tennessee schools.
Safe room_Web
A saferoom in one of the Tennessee schools.

TSS Engineering Makes Complex Projects Successful

Engineering is one of the most important steps in the creation of a bulletproof barrier—especially large and complex projects like storefronts. 

Bulletproof glass is significantly heavier and thicker than traditional glass. So, the framing supporting the glass panels must be constructed in a way that is able to support the weight of the system. Even bulletproof doors require special hardware to ensure there is no sagging over time. The in-house engineering team at TSS ensures every project has structural integrity and will hold up under attack and over time.

Coordinating a Complex Installation Process

Installations in school systems present unique challenges. Because these storefront systems were so large, the TSS installation team couldn’t complete them over a weekend or at night after school was out for the day (our typical protocol). Instead, our team installed the systems over the course of the week-long winter break. 

We deployed two crews installers after Christmas. It was a tight timeline and we had no time to waste. 

First, our team removed the existing, unrated systems. This was a highly involved process because the existing structures were so extensive. Then, we installed the rated storefront systems and bulletproof doors. We also emptied file cabinets from interior rooms, turned them into safe rooms by adding bulletproof fiberglass panels to all the walls, and then put everything back into place. By the time students returned, everything was complete and students were able to continue their education without disruption. 

Plus, the systems look and feel exactly like the non-rated systems they replaced. Students will be safe from intruders without feeling like their school is a bunker—and that was exactly our goal.

The school system is very satisfied with the end product. They were especially pleased that the work didn’t have any noticeable impact on their students. 

Want to Add a Bulletproof Storefront to Your School? Contact TSS

If you need to add bulletproof protection to your school, please don’t wait to reach out to us. Your security is our priority. We can work with you, your security consultants, and your timeline to create a bulletproof product that meets your needs and protects what matters most. To get started, please send us a message


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