The week before school opened, Guilderland district leaders got a behind-the-scenes look at the work completed over the summer in Phase One of a $17 million project.

Security was a priority for the school board, and all school lobbies now have a double-door entrance, more cameras, and computerized swipe-card systems instead of keys.

Daskalakis was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, a felony, under Leandra’s Law, named for Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old who was killed in 2009 when her friend’s mother flipped her car while driving drunk.

“If Joe was able, he would be doing this, and we just want to honor him,” said Stewart, who is part of a committee of friends of Merli’s organizing the event.