University creates winning game plan for new sports facility
- By Beverly Vigue
- May 01, 2010
When the University of Kentucky expanded its Memorial Coliseum
with the addition of the Joe Craft Center, it also created a whole new
game plan for the higher security needs of the new facility.
The Craft Center provides 10,000 square feet of practice courts for the men's
and women's basketball teams, as well as locker rooms, weight and training rooms,
equipment rooms, office space, ticket sales and other related activities. Tied into
the existing Memorial Coliseum, which is the venue for Wildcats women's basketball,
volleyball, gymnastics and other teams, the Craft Center also incorporates a
wealth of memorabilia and exhibits commemorating past athletic heroes and team
Construction of the facility began in September 2005 and was completed in
February 2007. The new facility is named after Joe Craft, a Hazard, Ky., native
who pledged $6 million toward the completion of the $30 million project. Craft is
president and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners L.P., a diversified coal producer
and marketer. Additional funds were raised through the University of Kentucky
Athletic Association; no state dollars were used to construct the building.
Video cameras were installed at strategic locations throughout the building and
monitored at a central location. If an incident occurs, security staff can review the
digital video recordings against the access audit trails to verify who was involved
or if someone was using another person's fob.
Planning for Security
The new building required a security system that would provide easy access for the
public while restricting access to areas reserved for the staff, athletes and coaches.
"We required three different functions," said Russ Pear, associate athletics
director. "One is for day-to-day operation, the second for when the building
needs to be locked down and the third for when we have an event in the coliseum
and need to control access to and from the Joe Craft Center."
The Schlage Security Management System was selected to meet these needs,
managing both online and stand-alone locks from a single database. The online
hard-wired locks are used primarily on exterior doors and office doors in the areas
accessible to the general public.
"We weren't planning on running wires to every door, so we identified 40 doors
that we needed to have controlled online by the computer," Pear said.
Doors that are hard-wired for online access control typically incorporate a
Schlage proximity reader that, when activated, operates the lock's electric latch
retraction. Power is provided to the locks via a Von Duprin power transfer or Ives
electric hinge. Stand-alone locks also incorporate a fob reader and, in many cases,
a keypad provides the option of using a PIN.
Pear said about 98 percent of the facility's doors are controlled by the fobs,
because the majority are storage areas that have low security and accessibility requirements.
Schlage stand-alone locks are used on nearly 80 doors in areas where
real-time connections to the system were not required, such as the training and
weight rooms, equipment rooms and facilities used primarily by the athletes,
coaches and staff.
In both applications, the electronic credentials can be changed or deleted
quickly if a fob is lost or a staff change occurs. The online devices respond instantly
to the change when it is updated on the network. The computer-managed
devices can be updated regularly by downloading data to a PDA from the computer
that contains the network database or a laptop clone and uploading it to the appropriate locks.
Up and Running
With the electronic security system, mechanical
keys are almost unnecessary.
They are only used for emergency access,
such as in the event of a power failure.
"We have only four keys," Pear said.
"I have one, the operations coordinator
has one, the campus police have
one and the physical plant department
keeps one in a lockbox. They aren't
normally used for access."
Eliminating the regular use of mechanical
keys minimizes the cost of lock
and key changes. This also shortens the
response time for changes dramatically.
"We receive calls asking how we
like the systems," Pear said. "Every
time I take visitors through, I pull
out my fob and tell them it is my key
The locks on many of the office doors
are set to unlock automatically at 8 a.m.
and relock at 5 p.m., depending on the
preference of the department head.
"We program the exterior doors the
same way," Pear said. "Because we have
an alarm system, we set a time frame
when people can use their fobs to get
in, so there's no chance of them setting
off the alarm."
Because the Memorial Coliseum is
used by the women's basketball team,
as well as for volleyball and gymnastics,
the doors between it and the Joe
Craft Center are locked and controlled
by proximity readers during events
to protect the athletes' privacy in the
locker and training areas. In addition,
the elevators in the Craft Center require
a fob for access to these areas on the
building's lower level.
Doors to the training area, offices,
the weight room and other facilities
are controlled by Schlage stand-alone
locks. Locks on the weight room have
lock/unlock buttons on the inside.
"When athletes are in the training
room, they unlock the door so they
can immediately come over to the
weight room without having to prop
it open," said Jamie Applegate, operations
Access to equipment rooms that
contain valuable property and uniforms
also is controlled by Schlage
stand-alone locks. Applegate said
she updates these locks periodically
and generally tries to group several
together, since data must be uploaded
to each lock individually from
the PDA. These locks are used mainly
in areas that are off-limits to the
general public, so immediate updates
are not critical.
While most of the doors secured by
the new system are in the Joe Craft Center,
a few offices used by visiting officials
in the Coliseum also are included.
"It's a lot easier than changing the
locks and keys every time officials from a
new team come in," Pear said. "Now we
can just change the code, and we don't
have to pull wires to install the standalone
locks in the existing building."
Eventually, he would like to upgrade
the coliseum's security into the networked
electronic access control system.
Schlage wireless locks are a potential
solution and would be compatible with
the SMS software already in place.