U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Students Fund Access Control Project

A slew of intrusions at the Peck School of the Arts on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) campus prompted students to raise money to install biometric access control.

U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Students Fund Access Control Project

MILWAUKEE – Students at the Peck School of the Arts on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) campus funded a project that led to the installation of Schlage HandKey readers to stop intrusions at the six-building complex.

To choose a good access control solution, the students discussed options with the university’s integrator, Randy Trumbull-Holper, director of facilities for the Peck School of the Arts, explains.

“We asked Anixter what would be a good solution to stop homeless people and strangers from entering the buildings, where art students can be found working on projects day and night,” he says. “They, along with a locksmith on our campus, suggested that the students consider biometric hand readers.”

Although the UWM students wanted to deploy a biometric solution, they were wary of any solution that recorded fingerprints. After learning about the Schlage Handkey reader’s hand geometry technology, the pupils felt more comfortable with the solution, according to Trumball-Holper.

The Handkey reader simultaneously analyzes more than 31,000 points and instantaneously records more than 90 separate measurements of an individual’s hand, including length, width, thickness and surface area, to verify the person’s identity, according to the manufacturer. In conjunction with entering a pin number, now only registered art students are able to gain access to the facilities.

In addition to the solution’s high level of security, the students appreciated the simplicity of the process because they would no longer need to bring special ID cards or keyfobs to the school.
As a result, Anixter placed 13 readers on the exteriors of the buildings while several others are installed to manage access via certain elevators.

The UWM administration also was happy that the HandKey readers could operate as a standalone system and store authorized users in each unit without having to integrate with the campus’ entire access control system. Another advantage that hand readers provide is that they still perform effectively if art students have stained or paint-splashed hands, a very important consideration in this type of application.

Trumbull-Holper, who has a team that helps enroll the students and faculty, manages the system with Schlage HandNet for Windows.

“Every year, we update the students enrolled in the system,” says Trumbull-Holper. “Any student who took just one class and no longer needs access to our buildings is removed. Because this system was fully paid for by the students, we plan to keep it for a long time. To do anything else would be a disservice to something the students wanted and paid for themselves.”

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