NC State Uses Optical Turnstiles to Upgrade Security

North Carolina State University has selected optical turnstiles to manage access control at its gymnasium and Carmichael recreational center.

LILLINGTON, N.C. – To improve access control at its recreational facilities, North Carolina University (NC State) has installed Boon Edam Speedlane 996DA (Drop Arm) optical turnstiles at the main entrances of both buildings.

The university decided to revamp security at its gymnasium, which was built in 1961, and its Carmichael recreational center, which was created in 2007. Approximately 35,000 students and 2,500 faculty and staff are members of the university’s recreation facilities.

The two buildings presented several challenges for adequately monitoring and controlling access. When coming through the main entrances, users were supposed to stop and present their ID to student staff members behind the desk.

If too many users came in at once this could create a bottleneck and enable “non-members” to slip in during the distraction. There was also a need to allow access to non-recreational space for non-members. A form of physical crowd control was needed that worked in tandem with the checking of IDs.

“We needed to be able to control access to our recreational space, but from a risk standpoint, there are heavy weights, machinery and an aquatics center in the facility,” Jason Spivey, associate director of university recreation explains.

Prior to joining the NC State staff, Eric Hawkes, director of university recreation, had employed security turnstiles at Florida Atlantic University. After reviewing how individuals gained access to NC State’s recreational facilities, Hawkes determined security turnstiles would be the best solution for the university as well.

In 2012, Hawkes and Spivey set out looking for a solution that would be the most effective for the campus.

After assessing their needs and looking at alternatives, Spivey and Hawkes decided to install Boon Edam Speedlane 996DA optical turnstiles at the main entrances of both buildings for consistency. The automatic drop arm models were recommended by the building’s architect as they had a minimal footprint and a clean aesthetic look that matched the lobbies.

The 996DA works with the existing access control system and can work with any future biometric system NC State may install. Staff still verifies incoming user IDs and then pushes a remote touchscreen console called BoonTouch to open a turnstile and let users into a facility. Eventually, when a biometric solution may be deployed, students and faculty can volunteer to participate without a human to check them, and they can then just go through the turnstile. This benefit is expected to increase use of biometrics to eventual full adoption over the years.

The benefits to the university and the many users of the recreational facilities are apparent to all concerned. Access to secure areas is now physically controlled. There is now a clear, visual deterrent discouraging anyone from attempting to slip into secure areas. Reception staff has a greatly reduced burden of controlling access and preventing non-members from getting in, especially during crowded periods. Finally, risk of injury to non-authorized users has been reduced significantly.

“The Boon Edam turnstiles are meeting our many security needs,” Spivey says. “The look of the entry was important for us and the fact that the turnstiles could integrate with a future biometrics system was also a key consideration.”

Read More Articles Like This… With A FREE Subscription

Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!

Get your free subscription today!


Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety ConferenceCampus Safety HQ