Below is an article written by Chuck Fieldman of the Chicago Tribune about the new security upgrades for entry into 9 Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills District 181 schools. Mr. Fieldman details Pentegra Systems’ integrated security solution, which District 181 refers to as “double buzzer systems.” Visitors to the schools will still walk into an unlocked door and into a vestibule where he or she will then have to be buzzed in by a school employee. However, an additional layer of security is being added where he or she will then have to be buzzed in from inside the office to then gain access into the school itself. This project will be completed over winter break and be up and running by the time the students return in January.


Workers from Pentegra Systems work on installation of the new double-buzzer entry system at Oak School. (Chuck Fieldman/Pioneer Press)


Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 is adding a layer of security for entry into its nine school buildings.

“We’ve been calling it a double-buzzer system,” said Bridget McGuiggan, the district’s communications director and chairman of the district’s Safety & Crisis Committee.

Visitors to district school buildings now may enter an unlocked door into a vestibule, but must be buzzed into the office by a secretary or another school employee.

That protocol will remain. However, the new system also will require an office staff member to buzz visitors out of the office in order to get into other parts of the building.

“In some cases, parents may be coming to drop something off, a lunch or musical instrument, for example,” McGuiggan said. “In those cases, they can drop those items off in the vestibule and don’t need to enter the rest of the building.”

The committee considered requiring a staff member to buzz visitors from outside into the vestibules, McGuiggan said.

“We don’t want to make parents stand out in the elements, and I don’t know it would add substantially to the security when they already aren’t able to get into the office without being buzzed in,” she said. “Safety is the priority, and we are being proactive with that, but we want to be as welcoming as we can be, too.”

Representatives from the Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills and Burr Ridge police departments served on the committee.

Along with the additional hardware needed for the new buzzer system, main entrance cameras and intercoms are being replaced in all schools with equipment that provides a clearer view of visitors for staff.

The security work was started Monday, was to continue Tuesday and be completed over winter break.

“The idea was to have this work done while students are not in the buildings,” McGuiggan said. “Everything should be working when students return from winter break.”

Cost of the new security cameras, intercoms, ID card reader and buzzer system is $12,000 to $16,000 per school, said Mike Duggan, director of facilities. The system won’t be installed at Hinsdale Middle School, but will be included in the new HMS, which is under construction, Duggan said.

District 181 plans to implement an additional security measure some time in early 2018, similar to one being used at Hinsdale Central.

That system requires visitors to schools to provide identification, which will be scanned before they are allowed beyond the school office with a badge sticker printed by the system.

“This change will support consistency in district visitor procedures, ensure appropriate background checks have been completed, and allow us to maintain a digital log of our guests, all while integrating with our student information system,” superintendent Don White said.

McGuiggan said the Visitor Management System has a total cost of about $9,400 for all schools, which includes the ID scanner, badge printer, badge stickers and one-time setup costs, as well as an annual fee for software. There also is annual recurring cost of about $3,600, she said.

Twitter @chuckwriting



For more information on how Pentegra Systems can help with all of your school’s security needs, head on over to or give us a call at (630) 941-6000!

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Audio Makes The Stadium Experience

In the past, audio systems in sports stadiums and arenas were primarily used for voice-over announcements. Big screens and Jumbotrons are also common fixtures in stadiums and arenas. But with the evolution of sports, the increasing sophistication of audiences and fans, combined with the advancements in technology, today’s ultimate theater experience is all about having clear, audible sound throughout the facility. Sports entertainment has become more experiential. Owners of stadiums from local high schools to the big leagues aspire to keep fans entertained while also making sure that they do all they can to connect and engage with their fans. Quite often, the secret to maintaining high energy during down times is through the use of music and videos. And, it goes without saying that if you want high energy and high impact experience, that’s absolutely going to require crisp sound.

Challenges in creating the perfect stadium experience

Sports fans attend events with very high expectations. And in many instances, those high expectations go well beyond what’s happening on the field. Fans are also interested in excellent lighting, crisp video presentation and high-tech sound. After all, it isn’t just a sporting event they’re attending; it’s an experience.

Every stadium’s sound design is unique as the stadium itself. Outfitting each facility comes with its own challenges. Let’s look at the three of those challenges a little more closely.

1. Understanding the importance of good sound design in a stadium environment.

Nowadays, it’s not enough to just offer splashy high definition video screens and massive illuminated scoreboards. Sound plays an important role in the overall guest experience in a modern stadium environment. Many facility owners spend big on the visible amenities such as video screens and luxury boxes, but sound design often takes a back seat, even though it’s highly important to the visitor experience. Not too long ago, all that was required of the in stadium sound system was

for it to function as a basic PA system to announce the score of the game. Fast-forward to today and the typical stadium sound system is now at the heart of the overall stadium audio/video system. Not only does it serve as a PA system, but also functions as a full featured fan entertainment system.

2. Determining the type of audio system best suited for the venue.

Owners of stadium facilities need to pay attention to sound design to ensure the audio fan experience is up to the same standard as the visual experience. This process begins with determining the best sound system for the venue. Working with a qualified sound engineer is imperative to ensure selection of the proper equipment and installation.

3. Proper design and installation of audio system.

It is important to factor in the size of the venue into the equation, and it’s extremely important to avoid installing a system that is too small and inadequate for your venue. Also, things such as speaker placement play a key role in overall audio quality. Nothing is worse than skimping on the initial installation only to re-visit a few years later to make costly retrofitted improvement and upgrades. It’s best to allocate the necessary resources up front to ensure a top-notch audio experience for the fans.

A complete entertainment experience

Today, the stadium experience is about much more than just the game being played on the field. The overall entertainment experience is just as important. With advances in home theatre technology and high quality 4K projection and surround sound systems in many movie theatres, entertainment consumer expectations are higher than ever. People know the difference between a high quality audio experience and an average one. Even high schools are spending tens of thousands of dollars to outfit their football stadiums with the latest in sound system technology, often rivaling big time colleges.

Outdoor stadium operators may feel a bit overwhelmed in planning their sound system installation, but with the proper allocation of resources and partnering with a qualified sound design engineer, a first class audio fan experience can be achieved for many years to come.

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Peerless Industries, Inc. is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of American-made audio-visual solutions. The company’s innovative product line includes flat panel and projector mounts, wireless technology, motorized mount solutions, cables, kiosks, AV furniture and racks and other ...

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