A Seamless Access

Taking access control to the cloud helps Ohio Parish campus protect staff, students and patrons

Since 1954, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish has been serving its community in Grove City, Ohio. Its first service was celebrated on April 25, 1954, at the Little Theater Off-Broadway in Grove City and was attended by 90 adults and 32 children. Over the years, the small church has evolved into a large community, boasting more than 2,500 families. Today, the parish is comprised of seven buildings, which includes the church, preschool, elementary school, rectory, storage garage, athletic building and modular classrooms.

The parish grew from around a dozen visitors daily to now more than 80 people visiting the church every weekday morning and more than 500 people visiting over three separate services each weekend.

The school has grown to host more than 300 students and 50 staff members and volunteers; with the preschool adding more than 40 students and staff members to the campus tally. With 28 exterior doors now encompassing the fully renovated church, school, and preschool, the parish knew it was time for a substantial security upgrade. Our Lady of Perpetual Help was ready to take its access control to the cloud and to create a safer environment for all patrons, staff members, and students.

Building Access

A main challenge at the parish was being able to control access at all seven buildings and provide an environment with improved personal security for their staff, students, and patrons. The new system needed to not just limit access, but also control it. The security system they had in place consisted of a few keypads and electric locks on a couple of doors with no centralized management or communication.

With an influx of people accessing the parish and its facilities, the facilities director and the maintenance/technology specialist at the parish were ready to do their due diligence to find the right access control solution. They were looking for a system that did not take up a prominent amount of wall space and did not require power to be run to every door.

They also wanted to be able to use remote access technology to monitor and make changes to the system on the fly without having a physical presence. The ideal solution would be a flexible, cloud-based access control system that required minimal installation and could be used right out of the box.

With more than 100 hours spent online researching the various types of access control systems in the marketplace, there was one Colorado-based manufacturer that caught their eye and stood out from the other access control providers. After careful consideration and research, the parish selected the ISONAS™ Pure IP access control solution for their security upgrade. With this selection, ISONAS promptly introduced the parish to one of their local certified independent security integrators, Systems 28. As a leading provider of low-voltage integrated fire and security systems in Ohio, Systems 28 has more than 16 years of experience in designing and engineering fire alarm, security, access control and CCTV systems – ultimately helping make this upgrade a huge success.

A Match Made in Heaven

The project consisted of installing 24 ISONAS RC-04 reader controllers with 21 deployed on exterior doors and three on interior doors in a month’s timeframe. For this project, Systems 28 partnered with Mitchell Lock, who was on hand to install new electric door hardware and electric strikes.

The parish provided and installed all network cables for card readers as well as the network infrastructure, which created a true team effort. The parish also liked the fact that an on-site server was not required with the ISONAS solution. Having a cloud-based server was critical in their decision-making process as the parish was looking to manage access remotely for multiple buildings. In addition, another deciding factor for them was that this solution did not require additional wall space for the reader controller, creating an easy, cost-effective deployment.

Along with the ISONAS hardware, the Pure Access software was deployed and the parish was enthused to use the remote access capabilities. Pure Access™ is a cloud-based access control application that provides users the ability to manage their access control from anywhere at any time, on any device. “We especially like the remote access functionality as it has been great for us to be able to lock and unlock doors remotely during regular times and emergency situations like the global pandemic,” said Kevin Radwanski, facilities director at the parish.

The future looks bright at the parish as their expansion plan includes adding on additional reader-controllers on seven exterior doors and a few interior doors as well. After installing the reader controllers, the parish has more than 200 cardholders that can access any of the buildings by scanning an ID Badge for verification. With this added layer of security, the parish can track who entered each facility and keep all access points secured day and night. By doing the proper research and understanding the true meaning of a cloud-based access control system, the parish can have faith that they made the right decision with this security upgrade.

This article originally appeared in the July / August 2021 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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