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ISONAS access control system secures Douglas Schools, South Dakota
The installation of the ISONAS access control system was accomplished by Golden West Technologies
The installation of the ISONAS access control system was accomplished by Golden West Technologies

Located in the beautiful Black Hills area of South Dakota, the town of Box Elder, SD is home to the Douglas School District. The District employs just over 400 staff and educates more than 2,500 students from 3 years of age through high school. The District has a significant physical plant infrastructure consisting of administrative facilities (District administration building, sports stadium, and separate building locations for transportation, food service, the District technology centre, and warehouse) and 5 schools – Carrousel Pre-School, Badger Clark Elementary, Francis Case Elementary, Vandenberg Elementary, Douglas Middle School and Douglas High School.

One of the primary beliefs about the school environment is that, “Schools are safe, caring places.” To that end the District embarked on a well thought out physical security plan for their various facilities in 2008 consisting of video surveillance and access control in conjunction with a pre-existing alarm system. The initial installation of video surveillance for the district campuses and other facilities was accomplished in the spring of 2008.

ISONAS PowerNet access control system

The next phase of security, access control, was proposed in the spring of 2009. “We knew we wanted an access control system that would utilise,” states Mike Mueller, Buildings and Grounds Coordinator for Douglas Schools. “It was also important to us to have a system that we could deploy seamlessly in multiple locations. We foresaw the necessity of allowing the individual facilities to manage their parts of the system, but we also needed the capability of a central point of monitoring and control on a district-wide basis. The proposal from Golden West Technologies for the ISONAS PowerNet system not only met all of our operational and functional requirements, but it came in as the most cost effective solution for an IP system.”

The installation of the ISONAS access control system was accomplished by Golden West Technologies of nearby Rapid City, SD. “We have supplied dozens of schools with network infrastructure and security systems,” states Dave Wentworth, Security Sales Engineer for Golden West, “so our confidence in being able to both meet the District’s budgetary requirements as well as provide a top of the line access control system specifically tailored to the needs of a school district was a task with which we were very comfortable.”

ISONAS Crystal Matrix Access Control software

The project called for the installation of 28 door access points and was finished in just 2 months, well within the time allotted for the work. The project also included the installation of the ISONAS Crystal Matrix Access Control software management program. The system rollout was managed by John Hoag, District Security Officer. “The Crystal Matrix software system allows me to manage the setup and permissions for all entry points in the system and to monitor them as well. It was easy to train personnel in each of the separate facilities on how to do the access control management tasks for their individual locations, so I now oversee the day-to-day operations of all of the security systems while individual requirements are decided on a local basis by each school.”

Video and access control system integration

The overall security system is tested at least 4 times per year when the schools practice a security alarm simulation. The system is tested for lock down functionality as well as the ability to provide entrance in such a situation for first responders such as police and fire personnel. “The combination of video and access control running on the network allow us to control and monitor activities in an emergency in a very comprehensive and effective manner, from a secure location,” says Mr. Hoag. “We made appropriate investments in physical security systems, and we continue to make strides in perfecting our procedures in the use of those systems to live up to our commitment that our schools are safe, caring places.”

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