ACCESS CONTROL/Civic center locks up building security
On any given day, the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wis., draws a crowd. In addition to accommodating public and private events, the civic center represents architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s final design project, and, as such, it attracts hundreds of visitors per day. Anticipating the high level of traffic, officials incorporated access control components — including electronic locks, automated entrances and a key-management system — into the building’s construction.
The 250,000-square-foot, tri-level center contains a variety of venues, including a 37,200-square-foot exhibition hall, a 14,000-square-foot grand ballroom, a 300-seat lecture hall, 14 meeting rooms, an executive business center and a 68,000-square-foot rooftop garden. In addition to securing entrances to the building, the city wanted to limit access to and between the many venues and rooms. And, it wanted to complement the center’s architecture in the process.
As a result, all interior doors were outfitted with brushed brass exit devices. Doors and frames on exterior entrances were equipped with brushed chrome hardware, as were visible interior doors used only by staff members.
While aesthetics were important to building officials, security took top priority. All exterior doors were installed with exit devices that block entry between events but allow people inside the facility to exit safely. Supplied by Indianapolis-based Von Duprin, the devices include electric latch retraction, which allows them to be controlled remotely from the facility’s security command center. All doorways are monitored by video cameras as well. In addition, many private rooms and other areas of the center feature keypad access control to allow staff entry but exclude public access.
To further enhance security, all keys to Monona Terrace are monitored by the city and manufacturer. Keys from Schlage, Colorado Springs, Colo., have side-bit milling for individuality. They are controlled by the factory and released to the facility only with an authorized signature verification, preventing keys from getting into unintended hands. That also eliminates the possibility that someone could duplicate a key at a hardware store, says Building Maintenance Supervisor Jeffrey Griffith. “The security staff is responsible for locking and unlocking the various rooms, and the keys aren’t available to just anybody,” he notes.
Since its opening in 1997, Monona Terrace has hosted approximately 1,000 events each year. Security staff patrol and monitor the facility 24 hours a day during events and as part of regular operations.