Milwaukee School Gets Affordable Access Control Upgrade

St. Eugene School installed a Web-based Access Control system to meet its security needs while heeding strict budget limits.

Simplified System Management, Amplified Security

With multiple events and activities taking place each day, St. Eugene personnel now use NetAXS-123 to maintain a macro view of building security or drill down to individual doors. This has been critical in light of the various after-hours activities taking place in the building, including on weekends and in the evenings.

Previously, after-hours access to the church for a funeral, for example, involved the parish priest having to manually unlock the door. The priest was constantly on call, but with the new system, the appropriate individuals – such as funeral directors – can simply receive a specifically-configured access key fob if they need to enter the building outside of regular operating hours.

The system’s benefits to school security are also numerous. Parents simply present their access fobs when they enter and leave the building. The system generates an electronic record each time a person enters, helping the school keep track of who enters the building and when. In the event a parent loses their fob, staff can disable the lost credential and reissue a new one, avoiding the chance of a lost fob falling into the wrong hands. 

“We can now easily keep tabs on who has access to the building, and when. It’s no longer a time-consuming paper-and-pencil process, and that’s a relief,” says Terry O’Neill, St. Eugene School building supervisor. “We’re freeing up teachers and staff from having to sign parents in and out
as they drop off and pick up their children, for example, and we’re also that much more certain about our own safety and security.”

Access Control Designed for Scalability and More

St. Eugene completed installation of NetAXS-123 during the summer of 2013, and the system was fully ready to accommodate users when students returned to classes for the 2013-14 school year. Currently, St. Eugene is using the system to primarily address the school’s security needs. However, administrators plan to take advantage of the system’s scalability and protect nine doors throughout the facility. St. Eugene’s campus also includes a gymnasium that will be tied into the system as soon as funding is available. The same goes for a rectory as well as other areas of the school.

“Knowing that we can add on more door controllers tied into a single Web interface is really appealing,” Munger says. “Again, that’s done through the Ethernet virtual link.”
NetAXS-123 provides out-of-the-box support and can expand as needed to accommodate as many as 48 doors on a single wire loop. Plus, with EVL technology the system automatically updates each control panel when changes are made, simplifying configuration and management.

“We want to provide technologies that enable our customers to manage, control and even maintain their access control system themselves,” Munger says. “The straightforward nature of NetAXS-123 lets us easily train our customers on how to use and maintain the system – and then they can expand it as they grow. It’s not rocket science, but good security doesn’t have to be.”
While the church does not integrate video surveillance into its new access control system, the capability does exist with its chosen panel. NetAXS-123 can take snapshots of individuals as they card in or request access to leave the building. The video would be able to be remotely viewed via the same Web interface.

For now O’Neill says he and his colleagues are looking forward to making it even easier for administrators, teachers, parishioners, visitors and staff to have easy but controlled access to the campus.
“Our primary motivation for installing the access control system is to keep our students and staff safe. But we also have a larger community that uses the church and funeral home on a regular basis,” he says. “And we want them to be equally safe and enjoy the convenience of the access system.”

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