School District Takes Proactive Approach to Security
Granite Falls School District, located in Washington state, educates 2,000 students across two elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools. In light of the current threats faced by schools, Granite Falls reviewed its security infrastructure. The District found its setup to be not only expensive to maintain, but challenging to manage, with disparate systems at the five schools. For example, analog cameras and DVRs were not networked, so they had to be viewed separately. In addition, the elementary schools did not have video surveillance.
While Granite Falls needed a unified solution that fit its budget, the District was also determined to adopt a proactive approach to security with the help of technology. “We needed a partner who could provide a cost-effective, yet advanced system that would allow us to stay on top of potential threats,” says Jeff Balentine, Capital Projects Manager, Granite Falls School District.
Granite Falls went to the public on a bond measure and asked for capital to improve security. Once the funding was secured, Granite Falls brought in its systems integrator, LONG Building Technologies, to assist with the project.
“By leveraging existing infrastructure, the LenelS2 solution enabled Granite Falls to come in under budget,” observes Jim Jamison, Senior Account Executive, LONG Building Technologies. “The savings allowed us to explore additional, advanced capabilities that were important to such a forward-thinking school district. ”
The web-based NetBox™ access control system provides accessibility from anywhere, giving the District more flexibility and control. Integrations with Bosch intrusion alarm systems and 2N two-way intercoms at the front desk further enhance system capabilities. Although anyone with privileges can view events and video from a desktop or a mobile device, district-level management maintains Granite Falls’ standards at each school. The budget surplus from the initial project made it possible to add capabilities such as custom-configured, discrete panic alarms (assistance, medical emergency, lockdown) which teachers can initiate from their computers.
LONG brought existing analog cameras into an IP network with a NetVR™ video management system and installed new IP cameras at schools without video surveillance. The District established a partnership with the local police department that enables close collaboration. The District provisioned the police with the Mobile Security Professional® app. Using the app, police can view video from all schools and even remotely lock or unlock doors – critical capabilities during active shooter or emergency response situations.
The Magic Monitor® unified client is used to power displays at the entrances to all five schools. The screens include information for the school community such as menus and events, and can provide critical messages during a lockdown. In addition, live camera views show each person entering the building video of themselves on camera, which acts as a form of deterrence.
By leveraging a unified security approach, complemented by advanced integrations, Granite Falls has accomplished its goal of taking a proactive approach to security. Principals and school staff are confident in the system and enjoy a greater sense of security as a result. The police department is now able to enter any situation with far more information at their disposal.
“Problems have significantly decreased, thanks to all the information and control we now have,” notes Balentine. “The team effort between LONG, LenelS2 and the District resulted in a well-thought-out security package that is cost-effective, and most importantly, raises the level of security for our students, teachers and staff.