Case Study: Ypsilanti Community Schools

School District simplifies access control and ensures secure facility with Entegrity Smart.

The Customer

Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS), based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, was launched as a new district July 1, 2013. The district was carefully designed as a dynamic, interactive and innovative educational experience by experts in K-12 education, along with university, business and parent partners.

When director of facilities Steve Burgess joined YCS, the district had already gotten an estimate for a more sophisticated alternative to its original traditional lock and key access solution on the exterior doors at its 12 school buildings, but it was rejected because of its more-than-$100,000 price tag. At a chance meeting at a Chamber function, the YCS superintendent was introduced to Richard Dabney of The Flying Locksmiths Ann Arbor, who talked to him about Entegrity Smart’s Bluetooth-based access control solution. The superintendent arranged for him and Steve to meet to share a video about the system, and Steve immediately ordered the district’s first VIZpin powered door/gate controller to test.

The Challenge

YCS operates 12 school buildings with a total of approximately 1,000 teachers and staff members who require access, frequently after hours and on the weekend when schools are closed. Originally, the principal of each of the 12 schools was responsible for issuing and tracking keys for approved teachers and staff members for the entrance off the teachers’ parking lot. Steve says, “We knew we needed a different solution for that particular access point at each building. Key control was a significant problem, with keys continually getting lost or lost track of. Because we need to ensure security for the schools, that lost key integrity was a constant nightmare.”

“Entegrity Smart has the best solution I’ve ever seen.”

Steve Burgess

The Solution

“Entegrity Smart has the best solution I’ve ever seen,” Steve continues, “I especially love that it’s phone-based, and phones are much less likely to get lost than keys.” He immediately began testing a door/ gate controller in one building, and in less than a year, has had more installed at the teachers’ entrances of 11 of YCS’s 12 schools. Over 30 doors have been added over time since then.

Steve, who was able to take over access administration, is slowly taking back all the keys formerly issued to teachers and staff members. About 200 are currently using the VIZpin Smart app, and Steve has 775+ smartphone credentials he can still grant. He explains, “We are slowly taking back physical keys from previous users, and anyone new to the district is only offered VIZpin access. Teachers love it and so do I.”

Previously, anyone with a key also had to be issued a unique alarm code so the district could identify who was in each building at any time. With Entegrity Smart, Steve says, “We have more control. I can tell specifically who is at a door at any time, so I don’t need to issue a separate alarm code for each user, which allows me to give access to more teachers than when we were using keys. Entegrity Smart allows us to give teachers more access to their classrooms”.