With 4,300 students and 14 separate buildings to protect, the School of Visual Arts (SVA) wanted a better security solution.
It looked for one that would integrate with its current video surveillance and door access-systems, and centralize everything for easier manipulation. It teamed with security integrator Idesco Security Systems Integration and invested in a security face-lift.
The SVA’s new security platform features 400 to 500 security cameras, card readers for 300 to 400 campus entry points, and customized ID cards for students, faculty and staff to gain access to those entry points.
“We needed a better access control system installed that could meet the security needs of the school,” said Brian Nakahara, IT director at the SVA, in a previous statement. “Idesco advised us on the best path to take to thoroughly secure the school and recommended the newest technology.”
Since the installation, Nakahara said the new security system has helped prevent incidental theft in students’ dorms due to better monitoring capabilities.
“It has also prevented theft and crime on campus by limiting access to certain facilities,” he said. “The new system is more flexible and easier for security officers to use, and gives them ability to search our database for better information.”
Customized access was also granted to certain faculty members for specific buildings. That way, the SVA’s security team can make sure the right people enter the campus’s buildings, and the wrong ones stay out.
“A big challenge was granting access to staff members for certain departments and buildings,” Nakahara said. “We only wanted personnel who belonged in certain departments to gain access. We needed the ability to revoke and grant access to certain personnel.”
The SVA partnered with Idesco because of the company’s attention to its security needs and expertise in the security industry. “[Idesco] had knowledge of service, latest technology, and experience with other schools,” Nakahara said.
“We looked for our ‘Go To Security Partner’ that is there for us 24/7 helping to protect our students and staff. We wanted to work with a company that had intimate knowledge of the hardware and who could implement a new system quickly.”
Planning and What’s Next
Andrew Schonzeit, president of Idesco, said Idesco was able to have the install completely quickly due to extensive prior planning.
The plans and installation configurations helped Idesco avoid the chaos of a college setting, which Schonzeit said can slow down installation time.
“We preset everything up in our office in terms of software and programming, so we were able to flip from one system to another basically over a weekend,” he said. “They weren’t down at all. All things were working when we started, and all things were working when we finished with no down time.”
Because of the new security system’s success, SVA’s enterprise systems engineer Kenneth Luguya said the school will pilot a new computerized security station in the spring of 2016.
“We are piloting in spring a new computerized security station that checks people’s building access profile when they present their ID,” said Luguya, Enterprise Systems Engineer at the SVA, in a previous statement.
“Desk badging will include a green light coming up if a person has permission to access a building. If a particular badge is not in the system, then the light will flash red for no entry.”
In order for other colleges to replicate the SVA’s security system success, Schonzeit says they need to invest in a solid integrator. “Pick a company that’s been around for a long time and can constantly do the upgrades involved,” Schonzeit said.
“Keep informed on all the new technology that’s in the marketplace so that the colleges will have the cutting edge technology. Then, they won’t get behind the eight ball and put in a where they’re really behind, and it’s hard to catch up.”