Georgia Southern Ensures Swift Secure Access At Recreation Center

Georgia Southern Ensures Swift Secure Access At Recreation Center

Authorized access for thousands of daily users using an integrated solution

Georgia Southern University was looking for a way to ensure the safety of thousands of daily users at their state-of-the-art Recreation Activity Center (RAC) by making sure only members of the facility were able to gain access to the building.

One key challenge for the installation was to allow for very fast verification of members while implementing a robust basic turnstile for simple entry control. A Boon Edam Trilock 60 tripod turnstile met the need, and was integrated with an Iris ID IrisAccess solution to minimize entry delays and complexity for students, faculty and staff.

EXPANDING NEEDS

The RAC at Georgia Southern serves as the center of campus life, welcoming more than 5,000 students each day. Originally opened in 1998 with 80,000 square feet, the facility was expanded in 2006 to its present size of 215,000 square feet. The expansion achieved LEED certification, the first building to do so at Georgia Southern, which reflected the university’s culture of sustainability. Among the many amenities at the RAC are an aquatics center with a 25-meter swimming pool, eight indoor basketball courts, group fitness studios, a rock climbing wall and an 18,000-square-foot fitness center.

The newly renovated RAC deployed waist-high turnstiles and gates as a means to control access for the increased number of visitors each day. By design, tripod turnstiles can be activated by an access control system such as a card reader, biometric device or external control panel. The access control system can be integrated directly into the turnstile or in a separate pedestal, reception or security desk. Once the user has been authorized to pass, the tripod mechanism will unlock allowing the user to push through.

The RAC installed the Boon Edam Trilock 60 Medium Capacity Tripod Turnstile, which is easily capable of handling high volume and abusive conditions. The turnstile’s design makes it simple to construct a multiple lane set-up.

INTEGRATING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY

In 2006, the turnstiles were paired with fingerprint scanning technology to confirm the identity of each member. But in 2014, when the Iris ID IrisAccess solution was paired with tripod turnstiles at two dining centers on campus, the RAC facility managers decided to investigate integrating an iris scanner with their current access control software.

“With each passing year, the size of the fingerprint database would grow, leading to an increase in the time it would take to verify each member. The process slowed, taking five to 12 seconds to grant access, causing unwanted delays for our users,” said Jason Schmidt, facility coordinator at the RAC. “When students used the iris scanners in the dining halls, it took no more than two seconds to process their entry. Once we realized that Iris ID was the superior method for access control, we decided to upgrade our system to better meet the needs of our members.”

Currently, as members enter the RAC in the main lobby, they can choose from two different access points: scan their iris at the Iris ID iCAM7000S Series mounted on the turnstile, or swipe their ID at the main desk and proceed through a gate.

The Iris ID IrisAccess solution provides highly accurate, non-contact identification by the iris of the eye from 14 inches away. The solution features a rapid auto-tilt capability that speeds up the entire process, with a simple touch or when combined with member cards or PINs to adjust for height. A face image can also be obtained during the enrollment process to streamline badging and visitor management applications. The solution also incorporates a space for an optional surveillance camera.

Boon Edam Trilock Side Gates are used on the other side of the main desk for dedicated egress, including access for those with special needs or the passage of dollies or carts.

“The arrangement of a turnstile paired with the iris scanner technology is extremely fast and we’re encouraging our members to use it,” said Schmidt. “Once they purchase a membership and are entered into our database, the system grants them access to the facility, and it is pretty seamless.”

LOOKING FORWARD

The RAC is planning to renovate in the near future to have a total of four turnstiles integrated with the IrisAccess solution.

“The Iris ID and Boon Edam partnership goes back to early 2000 when the two technologies were integrated at Schipol airport in Amsterdam,” said Mohammed Murad, vice president, global sales & business development for Iris ID. “We’re very excited to continue delivering integrated technology solutions to our customers.”

Facility coordinators at Georgia Southern are always concerned with who is coming in and prefer to have as many turnstiles as possible to automate the entrance process and reduce the burden to their staff.

“Everyone who is registered for the iris scanner likes it,” Schmidt said. “We’re looking forward to the next stage when we can have multiple entrance lanes, bringing everything up to speed.”

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Campus Security Today.

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