Lynwood Schools Move to Network Security

As part of a major expansion, the Lynwood Unified School District plans to integrate all its 15 school buildings into a centralized network to gain better control of security and reduce dependence on mechanical key systems.

Lynwood, a community of more than 70,000 located in Los Angeles County, has approved a local bond issue and also received state funding to update and expand its schools. Currently, the district serves almost 20,000 students. Four new schools are being added over the next year, and six other expansion projects are also planned for existing sites.

Senior Locksmith Mike Vasquez says the district is replacing portable buildings with permanent buildings at several sites. “We want to eliminate the leasing costs of the portable buildings,” he explains. “Permanent buildings are also easier to maintain, and they will give some of the playground space back to the kids.”

In step with the expansion, the district is integrating and centralizing its security system. “We’re going to have an integrated platform using the Schlage Security Management System, with access control, CCTV and door alarm monitoring all on one platform. Our goal is to have a command control center set up to monitor all our sites so we can get away from using third-party monitoring and gain more control,” Vasquez says.

Vasquez points out that the district has already invested heavily in networking all its schools, with network connections in place to each campus and almost all classrooms. The Schlage system will take advantage of this network to integrate access control technologies throughout the district, including CCTV and alarm monitoring systems. The system supports CM, CL and VIP locks and runs on stable Windows platforms.

Elimination of mechanical keying whenever possible will be one result, starting with the newer schools. Vasquez says, “For the most part, all the classrooms will have access points. We’ll use prox cards, but the Schlage system has the flexibility to use biometrics, bar codes, smart cards or other credentials as well.” He adds that the system makes it easy to drop someone from the system when they leave. “We just go in and turn them off, and we don’t have to go in and change a lot of keys.”

CCTV monitoring is also handled through the system. “We can tie the video together with the access control,” Vasquez points out. “It will show who is coming in the door so we can tie an event together with access.”

Although the program is still in its infancy and only a few buildings have been retrofitted so far, the new buildings now under construction will all be online when completed. Then, as budgets and time permit, existing sites will continue to be upgraded. When practical, mechanical hardware already in place will be upgraded with electrified kits, or replaced if necessary. A wireless component, available as part of the Schlage Security Management System, will be used in existing buildings where hard wiring may be difficult. “We have some buildings with spaces that would be hard to get into with conduits and hard wiring,” Vasquez explains.

Additional upgrades will include hardware designed to withstand the rigors of school environments, such as Schlage Vandlgard lever, where the lever is free-wheeling in the locked position to resist more forceful abuse.

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