Campus Begins Process This Month
to Simplify and Enhance Building Security
by Pamela Mclaren
From Dateline (February 5, 2003)
|Custodian John Lang displays
the many keys that he currently uses to enter buildings,
classrooms and other areas to complete his work. A campuswide
rekeying project will help eliminate some of the keys
that he has to carry daily.
When custodian John Lang begins work, as part
of his “uniform” he puts on a key ring holding several
keys – keys that open each building, as well as each classroom,
lab, office and supply closet. Even keys to operate the building’s
elevators. Every day, faculty and staff members pull out key chains
bulging with sometimes a dozen or more keys – all part of
opening the campus for business.
Those days will soon be over, thanks to a rekeying
project that is part of the fire-life-safety program funded by last
year’s bond measure.
“Under our current system, custodians and police
officers need to carry about 40 keys to perform their duties,”
explains Chief Judi King of University Police, who is working on
the project with Physical Plant.
“This project will reconstruct a great grand
master key system for the university,” says Brian Christie,
manager of building trades, who is overseeing the rekeying effort.
“Our previous system was compromised by the number of lost
and misplaced keys over the years. “
Many campus members have not only the keys they need,
but keys that they no longer use. When one faculty member recently
retired, it was discovered that 300 keys had been checked out to
the individual over the years.
Additionally, many faculty members never receive
keys for classrooms where they teach, adds King. “So right
now the custodians open the buildings and classrooms in the morning
and community service officers close them after 10 p.m. Not the
best process as far as property security, or personal security in
a crisis if faculty members are asked to ‘lock down’
“This new program will make it much easier
to issue keys, maintain records of keys checked out and for individuals,
far fewer keys to carry,” notes Ron Smith, lockshop supervisor.
Work begins this month with the Ruby Gerontology
Building. The project, says Willem van der Pol, director of physical
plant, “is going to be big, but it will drastically increase
building security, and from a maintenance standpoint, we’re
making progress because we’re also replacing 40-year-old lock
When completed, general use classrooms and the buildings
in which they are housed will open with one key. All other spaces,
such as laboratories and offices, will be keyed individually.
The goal is to have all buildings on campus rekeyed
by summer 2005, says King. College Park and El Toro are not part
of the initial work, but eventually will be added to the system.
“Two weeks prior to rekeying a building, we
will post notices on all the doors alerting users to what will be
happening, as well as instructions on how to receive new keys,”
notes the chief. “Prior to rekeying we will seek lists of
individuals, and what keys they will need, from their deans.”
The rekeying will be done when academic staff is
on campus to make it easier for individuals to get new keys. “We
don’t want to change the locks, say over the holiday break,
and have individuals return and have no way of entering their buildings
or offices,” says Christie.
A kiosk will be established at each building being
rekeyed to provide information about the process and where keys
can be issued.
After the rekey process, keys will be kept by University
Police and building and general classroom keys will be available
for immediate issue with proper authorization. As part of the project,
all records will become computerized with automated request forms
developed at a later date. All campus members should hold on to
their old keys until the rekeying process is completed, notes King.
“We see this as a win-win situation for the
entire campus,” says Smith and Christie. “It will enhance
security, and make it easier to use, check out and keep track of
keys. And the system has been designed to accommodate expansion
for at least 20 years.”
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