Community College of Rhode Island

Case Study: Keri Systems and Allegion provide end-to-end solution for multi-campus installation

  • Largest Community College in New England
  • Temporary Classrooms
  • Multiple Campuses
  • Challenging Construction
  • Multiple Door Types
  • Security Risks

Keri Systems and Allegion provide an integrated access control solution to the Community College of Rhode Island, the largest Community College in New England.

The Situation

Implementing Enterprise Access Control system in an education environment with architecturally-unique buildings across multiple campuses can present unique challenges, as well as an opportunity for innovative thinking and problem solving.

Integration in such scenarios must provide unparalleled protection, in a package that suits the installation challenges:  That is exactly what transpired at CCRI.


The Challenge

Several years ago, a decision was made at the Community College of Rhode Island to install access control on virtually every door which posed a risk of loss.  This included classrooms, labs, closets, libraries and most, if not all, non-public doors.

Designed in what has been referred to as “Brutalist Architecture” CCRI’s Knight Campus offers little forgiveness for the installation of electronic building systems.

The challenges at CCRI were many and the buildings diverse: buildings contain multiple door-types, temporary classrooms contain valuable equipment, and several buildings feature poured concrete and open spaces that rise multiple-stories high.

The project was headed by David Snow, CCRI’s Associate Director Physical Plant.  CCRI has 4 campuses; each is in a different environment, from rural to inner city campuses.  David’s charge was to protect the structures, assets and most of all, the students.  Each of the campuses were built at different times, employing various construction techniques with varied architecture.  One building in particular, was an award-winning design, utilizing heavy concrete construction throughout.  In short, it was a perfect case for the use of wireless locks.

Interior surfaces offered nearly no place to conceal wiring to doors

The project began at the Lincoln Campus, a rural campus which was built in 1975.  They realized that over the years various people, not all of whom still worked or attended classes a CCRI, may have been in possession of as many as 25 keys!  This posed a monumental security risk.  A solicitation went out for re-keying of all the doors, which  was priced at 300-400K for the complex.

Even with an expenditure of this magnitude, there was no assurance that the lack of security would be remediated on a permanent basis.  What complicated matters further, was that many of the doors were in bad physical shape, due to years of heavy service.

In 2014, CCRC began installing Schlage mechanical locks to replace existing damaged units.  As a part of this project, a decision was made to set up a test group of wireless locks, using the AD-400 series from Allegion/Schlage.  These locks were tested on some of the most highly used and abused openings.  After a successful test of the Allegion AD-400 locks, they determined that; based on the established record of durability of the base product, the unique connectivity protocol and range of wireless devices coupled with the ease of maintenance, to move forward with this solution, in a multi-million dollar retrofit.  The bid was awarded to Schneider Electric, based in Andover MA.


Post-modern Industrial design created large open spaces and concrete surfaces that made wire runs to individual doors nearly impossible. Large open spaces don’t provide easy (or any) access to individual doors for the wiring of access control

The University then employed an A&E firm to evaluate every door on the premises to specify new openings that would be pre-prepped for the Allegion product.  The doors would arrive, already drilled and prepped, to be hung and fitted with AD-400 locksets with no major modifications.

Concurrently, the search was on for an access control product with software that would integrate with the Allegion locksets and was robust enough to handle thousands of openings over several sites and accept a data base of over 250,000 card holders.

The Keri Solution

Keri Systems was selected by CCRI and Installed by Schneider Electric.  The staged installation of a unified wireless lock / access control system was initiated in mid-2014.  To date, Lincoln campus has approximately 600+ openings protected by Keri and Allegion.

Complex Structures

CCRI, Warwick Campus is one of the most unique campus structures one would ever encounter.  Any thought about hard wiring this facility would immediately be dismissed due to cost; most would assume they would have run conduit all over the immense building.

CCRI Put Allegion AD-400 Wireless Locks on nearly every door in each campus, all managed by Keri Systems Access Control

The Allegion product, due to its tremendous range allowed the installers to position the PIM (Panel Interface Module), in critical positions so that each PIM was able to communicate with its maximum number of AD Locks, sixteen per PIM.  The RS 485 communication wire was run from Keri’s NXT-MSC controllers; located in the various network closets to the PIM’s which were located at critical junctures.  The challenge of running one wire to these PIM’s was far less complicated than running multiple wires to each opening.   Also given consideration, is the fact that the PIM does not use an 8.02. communication protocol and as such cannot interfere with any other wireless points located throughout the facility.

The third campus, Providence while not posing the challenges of the Warwick Campus, is located in an area where additional security is required.  The Enterprise Class features of Keri are extended through to the Allegion Wireless Locks as if they were regular Keri readers.  Since the locks are on-line at all times, a Lockdown, or Lockdown/Lockout, can be performed immediately.  Additional features such as Management cards, Handicapped entry time, Alerts and global features can be utilized with the AD’s.

In all, CCRI Protected three different campuses with Keri Systems and Allegion Wireless Locks.

CCRI has undoubtedly implemented one of the most diverse and intricate integrations of Enterprise Access Control and Wireless Locking technology on the East coast.  Careful thought, planning and implementation have resulted in a first-class security enterprise that will serve the organization for years to come.  Keri Systems and Allegion continue to work hand-in-hand to provide ongoing support and build-out to this project.

Bob Stosse is a long time advocate for the locking industry and an expert in the fields of Electronic Access Control, Locking Systems and Architectural hardware.  Bob serves the New England Corridor as an Independent Rep to the Security and Locking Industry, and has represented Keri Systems for over 20 years. Currently, Bob is working on new solutions for integrated access control over entire municipalities, with active shooter notification and response, along with total command and control across multiple stations.