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Biometrics - Case Studies

Brivo’s OnSite SE secures St. John’s College High School in Washington, DC
Brivo’s OnSite SE provides benefits of functionality and ease of use
Brivo has been installed on the main entrance doors, administrative offices, and the Business Manager’s suite

The Situation

St. John’s College High School (SJC) is an independent, Catholic, coeducational college preparatory school. Located on a 27-acre campus in Washington, DC, with 1,100 students and 150 faculty and staff, St. John’s formerly secured their buildings with a standard lock and key system.

The Challenge

The SJC administration sought improved access technology to provide school administrators with maximum flexibility, utilising existing infrastructure and giving them a “tiered” management system to fit the overall needs of the school and each specific administrator. St. John’s also has a very active athletic program with 15 different teams, coaches, and staff needing access to facilities at different times of the year. The school also hosts numerous after-hours activities and groups which need access to all different parts of the school campus at different times.

According to school administrators, they asked themselves: Is the technology going to work the way we want it to work or do we have to conform to the software or hardware? Of all the systems that were evaluated, only Brivo fit that important criterion, allowing SJC to implement their access control system according to their own specific needs.

The Solution

eVigilant introduced Tony Colvin, Director of Facilities, and Mel Colvin, Director of Technology, to Brivo’s OnSite SE, which provides all of the advanced benefits of Brivo functionality and ease of use. The system offers the school on-site data storage control, as opposed to the Web-hosting option the company also offers.

Brivo ACS is not limited to the Windows environment and can be operated with Macs
Brivo OnSite SE offers the school on-site data storage control

After evaluating the first phase of the Brivo system installation, the St. John’s administration confirmed the system was meeting their needs, and it was time to look at other buildings and access points to expand system control. In addition to the athletic building, Brivo has been installed in the main academic building on the main entrance doors, the administrative offices, and the Business Manager’s suite. Next up is control of cafeteria access. “We knew we wanted a Web-based system,” said Mel Colvin. “I didn’t want to hassle with making sure all the computers had the right software and the right versions of software. The Brivo system made it easy.”

Brivo enables SJC to schedule an open time for the building as well as the ability to lock the building once everyone is inside after the official start of the day. Deliveries are buzzed in while the building is locked during these hours. As part of their emergency plan, St. John’s has also installed a single-button “lock-down” for the entire facility. As the access control management plan unfolds, SJC intends to funnel people in and out of the building through two access points in the front and back of the building. Similar to access control for the athletic facility, the goal is to know who is coming and going and when.

The Highlights

  • The Brivo OnSite SE system gives SJC vastly improved access control and access visibility and reporting, and it provides the school numerous benefits as well.
  • Remote administration of the entire system from any Web browser anytime, anywhere in the world.
  • During the year, 15 different athletic programs use the athletic building at the different times of the year for different periods, all with different coaching staffs. The Brivo system can manage all those cards and schedules, control access, and track access in the facility.
  • With the old lock and key system, if a student got a hold of a key that presented a potential security problem and a big expense to re-key—now SJC just cancels the missing access card.
  • The athletic director controls doors from his office and remotely grants access to outside groups that rent the facility. At the end of each day, the Brivo system gives him an easily accessible view of the entire building so that he knows if any doors are open—without leaving his office.
  • With the previous lock and key system, when someone opened a door with a key, it generally stayed unlocked and then the building was vulnerable. With Brivo, SJC does not have to worry that the doors remain unlocked.
  • System scalability, flexibility, and the ability to expand the system where and when appropriate has been a real advantage—as budget becomes available, SJC plans to continue to control internal access within buildings. For example, when the theatre group rehearses, the school can provide one access point and a corridor to where practice is held, with all other school areas off-limits and locked.
  • Total Cost of Ownership for a Brivo ACS is up to 50% less than traditional PC-based electronic access control systems. Such lower up-front system and installation costs enable the school to keep working capital focused where it should be: on the students.
  • There was one other advantage that SJC liked very much—the Brivo ACS is not limited to the Windows environment and can be operated with Macs.

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