Growing To New Heights

Growing To New Heights

New York integrator secures the tallest campus residential hall in the world and takes security to new heights

Business is booming in higher education, and campuses all around the country are stepping up to the challenge to enhance security. A great example of campus security done right is Pace University. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, enrolling almost 13,000 students in bachelors, masters and doctoral programs.

New York integrator, Idesco has been working hand-in-hand with Pace University for several years now. Idesco had recently helped Pace implement a standardized access control system and services their security system on a daily basis. It seemed only logical that when the university expanded its residential offerings, Idesco would be the first to be called on to install the security equipment throughout Pace’s newest residential building.

This job encompassed 34 stories and 384 rooms in the tallest campus residential hall in the world. The building, located on 33 Beekman St. in New York City, was designed to house 770 students, so security was a top priority for the school officials.

“This residential hall was a very ambitious project for us,” said Tom Tresselt, associate director of safety and security at Pace University. “We were looking for a true partner who would guide us and assist us every step of the way.”

Idesco had between 8 to 10 employees on hand during the building construction to ensure that every step of the project would run smoothly as construction progressed.

“We were very excited to do such a large and detailed project,” said Andy Schonzeit, president of Idesco. “We had to make sure that we had the proper internal operational resources as we knew that we would be on site for more than one year. Typically, our jobs are of shorter duration. Fortunately, our teams excelled and really came through on this project.”

Pace University put the students’ safety and security first, and worked with top-of-the-line products, which the campus security team were seeking. The project consisted of installing an S2 access control solution inclusive of 390-plus Assa Abloy POE locksets, 160 Axis IP cameras, more than 1,200 voice and data cable runs, 400 cable TV runs and a Bogen paging system throughout the building. Additionally, five turnstiles were installed in the lobby.

“Idesco was very excited to have the opportunity to work on the communications aspect of this project,” said Mike Troiani, service manager at Idesco. “We had done some small voice and data projects, but we knew that once we completed this project, it would be a nice feather in our cap.”

Guided by the university’s voice and data communications standards, the fiber optic cable is protected from physical damage and any direct exposure. Most importantly, the fiber provides more bandwidth than copper and has standardized performance up to 10 GBps and beyond.

“This also means the data can move at higher speeds and longer distances,” Troiani said. “More bandwidth means fiber can carry more information, which gives Pace University flexibility not only with their current deployment but also moving forward.”

“This installation was a very unique project,” Troiani said. “This building feels more like a hotel than a dorm. So many amenities are available to the students plus the location is fantastic. Within a 24-month period, we went from a hole in the ground to a comprehensive system to secure the tallest university residence hall in the world. From access control to cameras and voice/data, we have covered all security aspects of the project successfully.”

Idesco’s project manager, Jack Warren, is no stranger to handling large security projects. He knows that organization and communication are the keys to a successful implementation. With this project, managing all security components was a big plus. “The key component to this project was having the ability to manage all phases of the technology,” Warren said. “In many projects, you have the voice and data team running cable, then the security vendor runs cable, the door hardware company installs locks, Cable TV comes in and installs their own equipment. Having different teams install various components can complicate the process especially when we all have to work on a tight schedule. Since Idesco was responsible for all technology, we were able to set our schedule accordingly, control the amount of resources onsite and most importantly communicate effectively and directly with the general contractor, consultant and end user, without any delays or holding up general construction work.”

Idesco has been in the high-rise business before, but never at such great heights. The university also has buildings in the area that range from 5 floors to 23 stories. Despite being spread out in the heart of New York City, all are within walking distance of each other. This residential tower sits comfortably in the heart of the campus and within a block of a hospital.

“On a project this size, we had to pay extra attention to details,” Warren said. “Besides the color scheme, there are no major differences between each floor, so we had to make sure that all cameras and locks were labeled and tested. Most importantly, each IDF had to have a corresponding map to the patch panels and devices.”

The university takes security seriously with cameras looking at the landscape from one side of the campus to the other. One policy set by university officials is that unless you need to be in a certain building, you need an ID card for admittance or you are not allowed inside. In addition, the campus even has a fire safety director on duty at all times; making the university prepared for any type of emergency situation. “Idesco has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology. This project helped us set new standards in campus security and I am very proud of the amazing work that everyone has accomplished,” Schonzeit said. “I believe that many campuses will get inspired by Pace’s commitment to students’ safety and will take the right steps to protect everyone at all times.”

“Idesco managed the security aspect of this project very well,” Tresselt said. “When we opened the residential hall, we also had move in for our other 4 residence halls and Idesco was always ready to help us when we needed them. The university will continue to grow and now we have a security solution that will expand with our requirements.”

With security being top of mind of parents looking for a safe educational environment for their children; they don’t have to look any further than Pace. The university has students attending from all over the world and realizes how important security is to parents near and far. From walking to residence halls late at night or traveling between buildings, it’s important that students are protected at all times and under all circumstances. Pace University continues to rise to the occasion with its recent expansion and with Idesco installing today’s latest IP cameras, VMS systems and access control platforms, the right security measures are in place. The long term vision of the University is to put everything on the same access control system and consolidate their entire system. With Idesco on their team, Pace has nothing to worry about and can continue to grow now and into the future, knowing their security will be growing right there with them.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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