SP&T News

B.C. College signs seven-year deal with Salto Systems

Okanagan College in British Columbia’s southern interior, has signed a seven-year agreement with Salto Systems to provide a contactless electronic access control system networked across the campus.

September 11, 2008  By  Jennifer Brown

The school joins several other post-secondary institutions
in Western Canada such as UBC Okanagan and University of Winnipeg who have signed long-term agreements with the company.

The first building at Okanagan College to roll out the system will be the new $28-million,
70,000 square foot Centre for Learning which is a jointly funded
project between the provincial government and the college. The
facility, which is currently under construction, will add 22 further
classrooms to the campus and will be used to provide training for a
wide variety of career, continuing education, degree, developmental,
trades and technologies, and vocational programs. It is estimated the
system will cost about $50,000.

“The Canadian educational sector is embracing Salto’s state-of–the-art
technology in a big way. Okanagan College is the third Canadian
post-secondary institution in 12 months to make a long term commitment
to Salto as the sole provider of their electronic access control
security,” says Amir Zouak, vice-president Salto Systems (Canada).

“The College, which is home to 5,000 students, chose Salto for its
flexibility and the fact that our access control would not have to be
hard-wired to every door. Our ANSI standalone locks require no wires
and are able to communicate with the Salto software via hotspot wall
readers just through normal card use.


“We’ll be providing a mix of perimeter and internal locking systems
across campus, starting with the new Centre for Learning then replacing
the majority of mechanical locks across all the existing college
buildings and facilities over the next several budget years.“ Zouak

“There’s a lot of pressure on us to improve school safety these days,”
says Steve Robinson, Okanagan College’s Director of Campus Planning
& Facilities Management.

“We chose Salto because it will give us so much more control over our
campus security. Its built-in flexibility also means the college can
get maximum benefit from the technology while providing a secure
learning and working environment for all the students and staff.”

Robinson said the college, which has campuses in Vernon, Salmon Arm,
Kelowna and Penticton, had been looking for a long-term strategy to
improve security, especially around the issues of keyed doors.

The web-based system allows the college to control doors at the other campuses all from the Kelowna campus.

“The whole college is a keyed system right now and people are issued
keys and often forget to return them or they go missing and we
calculated that we were 60 per cent compromised with all the lost keys
but it would be a huge expense to change keys and locks across the
collage, so we started looking for something that would improve our
overall security,” he says.

“We do have some card readers but they are expensive and to put them on
all the classroom doors would be too much. We have them just on the
main entry doors. Salto gave us the best of both worlds in that it is a
system that can expand.”

In evaluating the Salto product, Robinson said he spoke with other
institutions using the product and a local boutique hotel – Hotel
Eldorado — that had the system in place.

“The product just met all of our requirements,” he says.

Robinson says the long-term agreement will help keep costs down.

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