Enriching the Security of Patrons and Artifacts
The Indiana State Museum Exhibits A Fully Integrated Video Security System.
The city of Indianapolis, IN is home to the annual Indianapolis 500 and the NBA's Eastern Conference Champion Indiana Pacers. Though it is well known for them, any resident of Indianapolis will tell you that the city is also rich in culture and the arts, as clearly exemplified in the recently opened Indiana State Museum.
With a lineage dating back to the 1800s, the Indiana State Museum's groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 30, 1999. The building is constructed from materials native to Indiana and includes a three-level, 130,000 square-foot museum plus a four-level, 100,000 square-foot administration/collections building that houses state of the art conservation labs, artifact storage areas, and office space for staff. The museum also features a two-story gift shop, two restaurants, and the 40,000 square-foot IMAX Theater. The facility cost approximately $65 million to construct and was paid for with public funds, while private funds were used to create and endow the exhibits for an additional $40 million. The Indiana State Museum officially opened to the public on May 22, 2002.
As with any public facility across the country, security is a main concern for the facility's director; especially in an environment usually teeming with children and priceless exhibits. The need for high security is countered by the desire to maintain an open and friendly environment that nurtures creativity and education. This is the daunting challenge of James Toler, security manager at the Indiana State Museum.
Toler was brought on board at the museum shortly before the facility opened. At that time, design and installation of a unique, highly sophisticated Panasonic video surveillance system was well underway by South Western Communications, Inc. (SWC), Indianapolis, IN. Under the direction of Mark Scheller, general manager at SWC, the system was completed in time for the museum opening.
"Philip Santore of Ducibella, Venter & Santore, a security consultant out of New Haven, CT, worked with Ratio Architects to initially design and spec the system work," Scheller explains.
"When the system went out to bid, we went after the project aggressively since it was in our backyard and wanted to be a part of it. We were awarded the installation and started working hand in hand with the consultants and the architect to finalize the design plans," he continues.
"The actual architecture of the building started a year and a half before contracts were issued for the security systems, which created some problems, but we worked out the glitches. We had an outstanding crew and our project manager did an excellent job coordinating the installation," Scheller comments. "The system is a bit atypical compared with conventional installations since it encompasses two buildings?an administration building and a museum building?both of which are controlled from the centralized security command center. We had to go underground, under the canal to get cabling from the administration building to the main museum building."
According to Scheller, as they approached the final stages of the installation, James Toler was hired as the museum's security manger. "He requested we install some additional cameras in locations that required new cable runs, which were very difficult since the building was essentially complete at that point," Scheller asserts.
"Then it was decided to interface the existing cameras located in the garage with the new Panasonic system. Since the distance from the garage to the security command center is some two to three thousand feet, we bundled all the cameras and added fiber optic converters. We then ran the system into the Panasonic Matrix System 850 without any compatibility problems," he adds.