This fall semester, Ohio University has continued its revamp of campus access, installing some 450 lock changes in campus residence halls. According to the university’s Access, Transaction and Video Services department, the changeover dates back to 2001, when Ohio began gradually transitioning to electronic access control across campus.
Per a report from The Post Athens, the transition is part of a larger program funded by the university’s Department of Housing and Residence Life with the goal to upgrade dorms from traditional lock and key to a card-based physical access solution that leverages the student ID.
The budget for the conversion was originally set at $2 million to complete 12 buildings. Funding for the project also covered incidentals like the replacing of outdated doors that would otherwise require replacement if not converted to the new electronic access system.
The reasoning behind card access in Ohio residence halls bears familiar benefits. For starters, universities making the switch to swipe access are able to cut down on potential costs associated with misplaced metal keys.
“If an ID is lost, it can simply be deactivated and it no longer works,” says Joshua Bodner, director of Access, Transaction and Video Services at Ohio University. “If a key is lost, the only way to ensure it can no longer be used is to change the lock and reissue keys to anyone who has access to that door.”
University has provided extra security for key usage by providing four separate lock and key sets for each residence hall, Bodner added in an interview with The Post Athens. The locksets are rotated on a predetermined interval to reduce the risk of lost keys being used.
University officials say the most recent upgrade, which began in 2014, is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2016. Ohio University’s Residential Housing initially wanted to complete all the residence halls in one summer, but the amount of doors and subsequent hardware changes was larger than expected. While perimeter access now leverages the student ID, individual dorm room doors are continuing to leverage standard lock and key.