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U. of Oregon secures student valuables with Gantner smart lockers

Science building installs lockers for full-time and temporary day rentals

Andrew Hudson   ||   Jan 29, 2021  ||   , , ,

The University of Oregon has installed Gantner smart lockers to secure student valuables on its Eugene campus. The smart locker deployment is being used throughout a major science building on the campus with multiple usage configurations ranging from daily rentals to assigned lockers for personnel and staff.

The building in question boasts four stories, with locker banks deployed on each floor powered by Gantner’s NET.Lock solution. On the top three floors, the smart lockers are assigned to researchers and personnel that utilize the building regularly. The first floor’s bank of smart lockers are open for daily rentals.

For the daily rentals, Oregon opted for Gantner’s GT7 central terminal to support student self-service locker management. “On the first floor, students visit the front desk to receive their MIFARE contactless locker fob and then go to the central terminal to choose their locker,” explains Oliver Kapp, Operations Director at Gantner.

Kapp explains that universities have options as to how they manage the locker rental process.  “We can configure the lockers so that students either visit a central terminal for self-service or move the rental function to a staffed desk attendant,” he says.

Gantner worked with Oregon’s existing campus ID technology and infrastructure to find an access solution that worked seamlessly with the smart lockers. It’s a practice that Gantner undertakes with each client to ensure that every locker deployment is as efficient and easy to use as possible.

"Gantner works with every campus individually on the layout of the lockers and the access credential to maximize efficiency for each unique campus environment."

“We work with every campus individually on the layout of the lockers and the access credential to maximize efficiency for each unique campus environment,” says Steve Jones, Sales Director, North America at Gantner. “Just like our other deployments, the smart locker system at Oregon can be upgraded and configured to run off a student ID or app, the mobile credential, HID SEOS, or virtually any other smart credential.”

On the top three floors of the Oregon science building, the Gantner smart locker solution manages long-term locker assignments. The system can remotely assign lockers for newly hired employees or revoke access in the event that someone is fired or leaves the university community. “Beyond daily rentals, typically our lockers are assigned either on a per-semester basis, or in the case of grad students or employees, on a more permanent basis,” says Kapp.

In total, the deployment of more than 300 Gantner contactless lockers at Oregon was completed this May, following minor delays due to COVID. The install took place during quarantine and was able to be managed in an extremely safe manner. “Fortunately, the nature of our installation work is individual, so it’s easy for us do our work while social distancing,” says Kapp.

Even the lockers themselves are in keeping with social distancing.

“The lockers on the upper three floors at the Oregon install are particularly socially distant. In those environments there’s no central terminal used to rent the lockers, but rather each locker can be unlocked and accessed directly from each locker door,” explains Jones. “It’s a socially distanced and a minimal-touch solution.”

Gantner smart lockers increase security at Oregon

As for other safety features, the Gantner smart lockers are fitted with a number of safeguards to enable control at a distance. The lockers are monitored in real-time and can also be monitored off site.

Gantner’s Relaxx Locker Management Software powers the smart locker solution. It includes a real-time audit trail for all transactions across a locker enterprise. “The Relaxx software allows the university to network the entire system of lockers across all floors and ultimately across buildings campus wide,” Kapp says.

"The Relaxx software allows a university to network the entire system of lockers across all floors and across buildings campus wide."

“Say someone is working in the middle of the night and misplaces their fob, they can notify security to open the locker,” he explains. “All of the lockers can be remotely locked or opened in the case of emergency, and in the event of a break in, an audible alarm is triggered, and a notification is sent to security personnel.”

“If a campus needs to lock everything down, security personnel can override and lockdown all the lockers via our Remote Disable function,” adds Kapp.

The implementation at Oregon is still relatively new, but the university is already considering expansions of the smart locker system to other areas of campus.

“Our smart lockers are ideal for fitness centers, libraries, and other student facing areas on campus,” says Jones. “And in the mailroom, we integrate with mail tracking systems and communicate with students when it’s time to pick up a package from a locker.”

As students and staff returned to the University of Oregon campus for the fall semester, they were met with a more secure and convenient storage solution in the Gantner smart locker deployment. And they’re not alone.

“More and more universities are opting for these types of locker solutions,” say Jones. “The big draw is our ability to network our smart lockers together into a single system across numerous buildings.”

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