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Electronic carding access will allow students access to academic building

March 7, 2014

Electronic carding access will be installed this semester to entrances of Centennial Science Hall (CSH) and will make after-hours studying easier for students, according to a Facilities Management official.

Facilities Management and the Division of Technology Services (DoTS) are working together to provide this improvement. It will eliminate many of the current inconveniences caused by the traditional lock-and-key entry to CSH, said Patrick Wrenn, craft worker supervisor for Facilities Management.

“This has been an idea that has been kicked around for years,” Physics Professor Lowell McCann said.

While the idea of having electronic access to CSH has been considered in the past, it was just proposed by physics staff to Facilities Management this year.

Faculty of the physics department contacted communicated their idea of having electronic access in CSH to Wrenn. Wrenn then submitted a bid to the UW-System, which was approved, for coverage of the $16,000 cost of materials for the project.

University police officers currently have to personally let students into CSH after hours. The new system will eliminate much of the hassle for students and officers alike.

“It’s a huge workload for police to let students into the building,” McCann said.

The number of science students who have ongoing projects can be granted access anytime to 11 interior doors and two exterior doors.

The new system will allow professors to notify University Police of who needs access to the building and when.

Not only will the new system make access easier, but it will also make it faster.

“A lot of people will be very happy,” McCann said.

Physics major Andrew Puyleart said the changes will make it easier for him to get into the building after hours, since he spends a lot of time studying in the physics lab.

“This way I can just swipe in and don’t have to bother campus police,” Puyleart said.

The new system will also provide a record of who enters and leaves the building, since students have to scan their ID cards to obtain access. In the case of an emergency, these records can be useful.

Use of student ID cards, instead of keys, will make CSH safer. Police and fire officials will have access to information about who occupies the building. By having a general idea of who is inside the building, it will help ensure that everyone leaves safely in a potential crisis situation. Electronic access will also provide information about sources of potential destruction or crime in CSH, McCann said.

In the event that a faculty member or student loses a key, the doors also have to be rekeyed, which is costly. With electronic access, there will be fewer keys that can potentially be lost.

When students graduate or staff leave the university, their ID cards will simply be deactivated.

Campus officials hope to eventually replace all entrances to academic buildings with electronic carding access.

“This is the direction we would like to go in,” Wrenn said.