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Security and flexibility: SALTO access control delivers peace of mind for St Rita’s College

Wednesday 16 September 2020

 

BACKGROUND

St Rita’s College is an independent Catholic day school for girls from Years 7—12 in Clayfield, Queensland. Established by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1926, the College places great importance on the pastoral care of its students, while its academic results and dynamic curriculum stand out as among some of the most impressive in the State.

 

THE CHALLENGE

With a large and diverse campus, the College had significant challenges ensuring the safety and security of staff and students, as well the protection of valuable assets. Changes to government funding had also placed considerable pressure on school fees.

‘We are always seeking innovative solutions to reducing our long-term overhead expenses,’ explains Ed Gleeson, Business Manager at St Rita’s College. ‘With so many doors across the College, the management of a mechanical key system was a large part of a person’s role.’

‘SALTO provides you with peace of mind; that when you leave for the day, the site is secure and can be managed remotely. The ease with which the system is maintained and managed is exceptional and has provided us with a terrific outcome.’


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THE SOLUTION

Guided by SALTO Certified Partner, Network Locksmiths and Security, St Rita’s College commenced deployment of a SALTO access control system on campus in 2017. Today, it’s a virtually keyless campus.

Says Belinda Parker, Director of Network Locksmiths and Security, ‘We had the pleasure of working with St Rita’s College to progressively roll out the SALTO access control system to all their buildings, including those that are heritage-listed. We also worked closely with the architect and electrical engineers for the stunning new Trinity Centre, a state-of-the-art learning precinct that includes a 400 seat auditorium. The SALTO XS4 electronic lock range was installed on over 300 doors of all types; including auto doors, gates, car parks, and lifts. It has enabled the College to have complete control over their security and respond real-time in an emergency.’

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The SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) and RFnet capability for online and offline doors, as well as lifts, gives the school full audit trails, the ability to grant access to specific rooms or areas for selected time periods, and to adjust locking schedules quickly and easily. Most importantly, central control of emergency opening and lock down is possible through the system.

Says Ed Gleeson, ‘The automatic lockdown feature is a real security benefit of the system. If we do get an intruder on the campus, we can lockdown all external doors with the click of a button.’

An upgrade to their alarm system also provides the College with the ability to arm and disarm buildings with their SALTO credentials.

To complement these doors, a number of SALTO GEO electronic cylinder locks and GEO padlocks have been fitted to gates and pool entry points. These are fully integrated with the XS4 platform and are an ideal solution for access points where fitting an electronic handle set is not suitable.

With SALTO, there’s no need to run expensive cabling to every door for access control. Since most access-related information is kept encrypted on the contactless Mifare/Desfire smart cards, doors throughout the campus are able to update and receive information from the cards at any time; delivering all the benefits of traditional hard-wired access control without the price tag. The College also uses the card credentials to perform other functions, such as cashless vending and photocopying.

Says Ed Gleeson, ‘The system was initially seen as a large investment, and having dealt with access control in a previous role I was a bit worried about the claims around ease of operation. Now that we have been using the system for over 12 months, I’m happy to report that it has well-exceeded these claims.’

The operational savings have been significant as well.

‘Previously if we lost a master key at the College, we could be up for $15,000 in lock replacements. Now if we lose an access card, we cancel the card and the replacement costs are a few dollars and 30 seconds of programming time. We used to have a caretaker on campus. With SALTO we were able to reduce this workload and reassign them to more valuable tasks for the organisation,’ says Ed Gleeson.

The SALTO access control system has aligned seamlessly with St Rita’s College requirements, and the school is delighted with the results.

Ed Gleeson sums it up, ‘SALTO provides you with peace of mind; that when you leave for the day, the site is secure and can be managed remotely. The ease with which the system is maintained and managed is exceptional and has provided us with a terrific outcome.’

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