19th Century Courthouse Goes Digital with Cloud-Based Access Control
|Sections of this 19th Century courthouse were converted into retail and office space, but the old lock-and-key access control system was out of control. It was time to look to the Cloud. Image courtesy of Brivo Systems.|
Brivo Systems LLC, leader in cloud applications for security management, today announced that the historic courthouse in Crown Point, IN, has substantially upgraded their access control management capabilities with a cloud-based Brivo ACS WebService system. The new system was specified and installed by Phil and Son, Inc.
After the town of Crown Point built a new courthouse complex, the historic courthouse, under the leadership of the Crown Point Courthouse Foundation, was transformed into a three-story mix of retail, offices, ballroom function space, and a still-functioning courtroom. Security for the remodeled historic courthouse remained standard lock and key, and that’s where the problems began.
“It really got out of control,” related Allen Pante, of Phil and Son. “While there are only four entrances, there were over 200 keys in circulation, so when the Foundation took over, they faced the hassle and expense of re-keying the entire building. Then, once retail and event rental operations started up, there were so many people coming and going but somehow access had to managed for all these different and growing needs.”
For the new mixed-use complex, someone had to manually open all four doors each morning and then re-lock them at 6:00 pm each evening. After-hours access for events was needed, as was a way to grant after-hours access to the businesses that maintained offices in the upper floors. “Clearly, the Foundation needed a better, more efficient way to manage access for the many and varying demands of all the building’s tenants, visitors, and customers,” Pante explained.
Phil and Son looked at a number of different access control providers to solve the Foundation’s access management challenges. “It was important that we understood the Foundation’s needs at this time, but also in the future. The Foundation Board members wanted access card control, add and delete capabilities, remote access, and to provide specific access privileges. And the retail shop owners wanted a lot more—door scheduling, and to be able to change and add system features.”
Pante continued, “When I evaluated the different choices, the Brivo system just shined. Many of the systems we looked at were ‘fix it now,’ but I could see the Brivo system had the flexibility for future needs as well. Other systems required that I load software onto Board members’ computers—that wasn’t going to work—and most did not offer mobile access. The building’s internal network is out-sourced, so we needed a solution that wouldn’t compromise the network. In the end result, it was clear the Brivo system would allow the Foundation to expand and do whatever the Board members could dream up.”
Another key feature of the Brivo ACS WebService solution is remote management. So, now Pante and his Phil and Son colleagues can assist the Foundation staff in managing the system and provide important back-up resources for any of their needs or questions. “It’s been a pretty big change going from keys to something this sophisticated,” Pante explained, “so being able to help the staff along the way and provide a comfort level has been a tremendous advantage.”
The Brivo system is used to manage the four main doors located on the north, south, east, and west sides of the building, as well as two bathroom entrances. Two of the main entrance doors lead to the first floor and the retail shops, and the other two doors provide access to the upper floors, where the offices, ballroom, and courtroom are located. The system manages access for over 100 users a day and upwards of 200 users for after-hours events and/or office access.
|The "Grand Old Lady" has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but as it still functions as a retail, office and courtroom space, modern access control was needed. Photo courtesy of Brivo Systems.|
Phil and Son has assisted the Foundation staff to create separate groups with specific access for the retailers in the basement (first floor), clients on the 2nd and 3rd floors, Foundation management, different service providers, cleaning crews, and Foundation volunteers. The main doors automatically unlock each morning and relock in the evening; they are programmed for specific access on the weekends, and to provide different access for each special event in the ballroom after hours. “The Brivo system does an awesome job of letting us manage all the different public and private groups and their specific needs,” Pante observed.
In addition to highly-specific access management, as well as system flexibility and scalability, the Brivo system offered other valuable advantages as well. “The Board did not want any construction on this historic building, so that locked out a number of technology providers. Luckily, through Brivo’s integration with Schlage, we had a wireless solution—problem solved,” Pante related. Also, for Phil and Son, they’re saving money. “With the remote access and management, I don’t have to roll a truck to the site every time there is a program change or request and Brivo ACS WebService eliminates questions of warranty and service agreements; there are no hidden costs, and they’re buying a complete system, a total package.”
Recently, the Foundation Board came to Pante with a problem—they needed to limit retail customer access to the upper floor offices on the weekend. “We integrated the Brivo system with the elevator controls, and we were able to close off access to the offices as needed. Everything the Board has asked for, we’ve been able to deliver. The end result speaks for itself in terms of what this system can do. The Foundation has been pleased we can solve all these issues and each time they come up with a new request, it doesn’t cost them thousands of dollars.”