By Trae Padilla, Vision Security
In many ways, college campuses are much like a hospital environment because they both accommodate a large volume of people who require access to a number of public spaces.
Today, many colleges operate on a 24/7 schedule, with buildings that are open and accessible to students nearly every day of the week and into the late hours of the evening. In these situations, it’s extremely important to ensure the proper security is in place to manage access to these facilities and to monitor those that are coming and going.
Auburn University faced these challenges with its Recreation and Wellness Center, which includes numerous workout facilities, indoor sports courts, an indoor track and an outdoor pool. At more than 240,000 square feet, the center has seen as many as 6,200 visitors in a single day.
To gain access to the facility, students have to pass through a bank of turnstiles, which allows the university to keep track of the buildings overall use and specifically who is in the facility at any given time. An extensive surveillance system, with more than 120 cameras, provides full surveillance coverage inside the Recreation and Wellness Center to ensure that students are safe and to reduce theft of personal belongings.
One area proved a unique challenge to Auburn University – its outside pool. The university wanted to ensure that if someone climbed over the fence and went into the pool at off hours they would immediately be alerted. To address this issue, the university installed an audible alarm system with a pre-recorded message that would sound if someone breached the pool perimeter.
And, to help the university better identify incidents and those involved, it deployed a high-end megapixel camera with facial recognition technology in the lobby of the Recreation and Wellness Center. Now, the system can provide valuable information, such as the date and time and who was present, should an incident occur.
Securing higher education facilities is no small task, but thanks to technological advances in surveillance and perimeter security systems, colleges and universities have access to more resources than ever before to protect students and faculty.