Phillip Riordan, vice president for student life at Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla., has added a third gatehouse recently to provide access control to his campus. But he knows that the guardhouses are more than modular buildings. It is the people who staff it. It is the technology connected into it. And there is the mission that overlays the gatehouses: “For us, the mission of security at the university is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for everyone.”

Lynn is a residential campus surrounded by elite neighborhoods.

“We have security personnel at all of our gates, worked by G4S. Vehicles must have parking stickers, and visitors check in with us,” says Dr. Riordan.

Security staff at the gatehouses are really the first presence on the campus “and the way these people interact with staff, students and visitors is important. It makes a major impact. We need the right people out there. They need to react correctly if there is something odd or fishy. Their antenna needs to go up.”

At Lynn, there are security cameras at the gatehouses that view the activity as well as record vehicle license plates. “There is networked computer access and bathrooms for staff,” adds Dr. Riordan.

The guardhouses and technology are part of a master plan at Lynn as they design a perimeter road concept and develop the middle as a walking campus.

For those who work in the gatehouses, “training is essential. They have to be familiar with faces. Outreach is critical,” says Dr. Riordan.

This month the gatehouses, technology and staffing will be put to yet another test, the Florida Society of News Editors (FSNE) and Lynn University will host the final 2012 Presidential debate. “Florida is again at ground zero of a hotly contested presidential race, and it is fitting and appropriate to hold a debate in this swing state,” says Mark Russell, executive editor of the Orlando Sentinel and FSNE president. The debate at Lynn will focus on foreign policy and is the final of four planned debates, three presidential and one vice presidential, as part of the 2012 election. It is the only planned debate being held in Florida – and what many consider to be a must-win state for a presidential candidate. The Lynn security effort and the gatehouses will be a part of the effort to make the debate go well.

More generally, access and guardhouses can play a role on campuses.

According to Glenn Rosenberg, vice president of higher education at AlliedBarton, it is a matter of “interaction with the public. Security is most often a first impression.” He points out the need to protect the campus perimeter, whether it is a rural, suburban or urban setting. In many places, the mission includes “parking controls and operations as well as special events.”

There are numerous guardhouses on campuses. Some must meet Americans with Disabilities requirements. Others are for officers or personnel who handle parking fee duties. Then there are those that are bullet-resistant rated.

When it comes to traditional vehicle access control and perimeter security, it is important that the guardhouse is properly positioned, how it is placed on the grounds: Positioning and procedures need to ensure there is no slowdown or backup. Glass-to-glass corners can maximize a work area to its full potential. Such a 360-degree view offers a nice clean look with no corner post, for example.

Whatever the need or application, there are guardhouses with numerous options and custom designs. Long-time vendors such as Par-Kut and Porta-King offer guardhouse drawings and designs to suit just about every application.

For example, the design staff at Par-Kut works in conjunction with architects, contractors and developers to handle special facade applications, roof treatments, paint and graphic coordination and customized structural design.

For example, some campuses are constantly increasing the level of security at their locations. So parking lot booths can allow security to restrict unwanted visitors. Being totally exposed to nature’s elements and quite a distance from the main building, specific equipment must be installed. In one instance, an extended overhang works in conjunction with tinted glass to reduce glare from the sun. Camera mounting has become almost a standard. This allows main building security to monitor each satellite post and keep a taped record if needed.

Weather may also determine a type of guardhouse.

For instance, a tornado that hit the St. Louis metropolitan area at Lambert International Airport, completely shutting down the facility, also impacted Durasteel prefabricated buildings – parking attendant and guard booths from Porta-King, but they remained intact with minor paint abrasion and glass damage due to flying debris.

Another approach is from MSSI, which rents and sells its structures, with and without turnstiles. Some end users employ the technology at sites to handle workers as well as protect tools from leaving the site.


This article was previously published in the print magazine as "Campus Gateways Need Protecting, Too."


Options When Considering a Modular Building

•  Downlights, interior recessed lights, fluorescent lighting under canopy, floodlights and dimmable interior lighting.

•  Extra electric outlets, GFI and surge protected plugs, plug strips.

•  Plastic laminate or stainless steel countertops, additional shelves.

•  Steel sliding or swinging doors, dutch doors, hydraulic closers, storefront doors.

•  Air conditioners: roof mount or through wall, combination heat/cool units and heat pumps.

•  Fans, louvers and screened windows for ventilation.

•  Glazing: tinted, insulated, laminated, low-e or spandrel glass, unbreakable polycarbonate, impact resistant acrylic sheet and bullet resistant material.

•  Custom exteriors: Stone finishes, raised architectural panels, two-tone paint, face brick, ready-to-brick at site treatments and custom graphics.

•  Painted doors and windows to match or contrast with exterior finish.

•  Additional insulation in walls and floor for severe weather areas.

•  Time clock alleys, walk-through areas, closets, restrooms.

•  Security screens, burglar bars, roll-up shutters.

•  Explosion proof lights, switches, heaters, air conditioners and outlets for hazardous locations.

•  Slanted ends, angled observation windows, full height glass.

•  Round, octagon, or other custom shapes, custom ceiling heights.

•  Stainless steel corrosion barrier base, doors and structures.

This partial list is courtesy: Par-Kut