CARMEL, IN – The Olathe Public School District is improving classroom security and simplifying key control by replacing multiple brands of locks on classrooms and other doors with Schlage locks and a patent-protected Everest 29™ key system.
Previously, the district used key systems from three different manufacturers, which made key control difficult and compromised security. The problem was compounded when some systems were no longer supported by their manufacturers and others had reached their capacity, allowing no room for further expansion.
“Whenever a new school was built, it ended up with the lock system that was bid for that job and the different types on each building made it difficult to maintain effective key control," explains the district's lead carpenter and locksmith Tim Keyes. "Some of the key systems had been in place so long that it was difficult or impossible to know who had keys and maintenance also had become troublesome."
Faced with this situation and concerned about the rising trend in violent incidents in schools, Olathe instituted a proactive review of its options for protecting its students and staff. As a result, it is in the process of replacing locks with Schlage products and implementing a patent-protected Everest 29 key system.
Since the Everest 29 key system provides patent protection against unauthorized duplication through 2029, Keyes says that the district will be able to maintain effective key control with confidence. Another advantage of the new key system is that it is compatible with restricted Schlage Primus XP keys already being used in some applications. Keyes adds that the service he has received from Allegion on this and other products, including LCN door closers and Von Duprin exit devices, also was important in the consideration process.
According to Keyes, the Schlage L-Series mortise locks and ND-Series cylindrical locks used on Olathe schools include a classroom function that allows teachers to lock the door from within the classroom during an incident instead of being exposed to danger when locking a door in the hallway.
Currently, locks are being replaced in Olathe’s 34 elementary schools with its nine middle schools and, eventually, its four high schools to follow. Although most of the locks being upgraded are on classroom doors, the district also is replacing locks on other openings such as custodial and equipment closets. All locks are Schlage with full-size interchangeable cores, which simplify rekeying, Keyes points out.
The Olathe Public Schools USD 233 was formed in 1965 with the unification of five districts and now includes 52 schools and related learning centers. Today it is the second largest school district in Kansas, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 students and is expected to continue growing for the next 30 years.