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One-button Lockdown Expected to Enhance Safety at Community College

By Monica Scott,
March 24, 2018 

Grand Rapids Community College is investing in new technology that will enable the school to institute a security lockdown of its buildings with the press of a button, officials say. 

Enhanced security features have been a priority for many higher education institutions coping with the threat of mass shootings and general security vulnerabilities from being an open campus.

"We want to be able to do all we can to make it as safe as possible on our campuses," said GRCC President Bill Pink, about investing the resources available. 

"This is a big step in that direction.'' 

The purpose of a lockdown is to limit accessibility to buildings on campus to reduce the risk of injury or danger during a threat. 

Lisa Freiburger, vice president for finance and administration, said in addition to the building lockdown feature, the security system would also let staff know if a door is ajar or unlocked. She said the college has around 400 exterior doors. 

The Board of Trustees on Monday, March 19, approved entering into negotiations with Atrium, a Virginia-based company that provides a wide variety of campus systems and devices. 

The board signed off on spending $1.87 million to provide a campus access and point of sale transaction system for the main campus, DeVos campus and the Tassell M-TEC Center. GRCC had a fall enrollment of 14,285 students. 

Atrium's partner, S2 Security Corporation, would be charged with the security component, according to David McQuillin, vice president of sales for Atrium. He said Atrium would provide the campus card solution for things such as parking, meals, building access, and printing and copying.

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