SARGENT Manufacturing

California school district upgrades locksets

Jason Glissman, head locksmith for the last nine years with the Lodi Unified School District (LodiUSD), is currently replacing several of the locksets used throughout the District with 11 Line cylindrical locks from Sargent Manufacturing Company. He’s extremely pleased to be installing such rugged and reliable locksets in most LodiUSD doors; he just wishes he’d turned to Sargent a bit sooner.

"Anyone who is mechanically inclined can immediately see that the 11 Line is a much better-built lock than what we had been using previously," Glissman said. "It’s built to provide a longer lifespan."

Glissman never expected that he’d have to replace the older locksets so soon. But just a short time after the original locks were installed -- mere months in some cases -- problems began to arise.

"We had several failed latches, problems with spindles, parts sticking, and many locks that just couldn’t stand up to everyday use," Glissman said. "It was frustrating thinking that I was going to be working with these locksets for upwards of 10 years, when things were failing so quickly after installation. Sure, the locks were under warranty, but there’s no compensation for my time spent trying to fix and then replace these things."

Glissman brought the problem to the attention of the District’s Facilities and Planning Department in early 2009, and has been working on replacing these deficient locks -- as well as other outdated locks -- with SARGENT’s 11 Line cylindrical locks, ever since.

Of course, the process of replacing and installing all of these locks takes some time. The LodiUSD encompasses 350 square miles in the central valley of Northern California, including the cities of Lodi and North Stockton, and communities of Acampo, Clements, Lockeford, Victor and Woodbridge. The District comprises more than 50 sites, including four high schools, two continuation high schools, seven middle schools, 34 elementary schools, a mail-house building and the District headquarters. Every school had many locksets that needed to be replaced; every classroom has a lockable door, and some have multiple doors. The total number of locksets for the District was well into the thousands.

Glissman couldn’t afford to make a mistake with his selection of the next lock. He needed a lockset that was not only mechanically sound from the get-go, but also rugged and durable enough to stand up to years of use and abuse in a school setting. He found just the solution he was looking for in the Sargent 11 Line (T-Zone) cylindrical lock.

"I was familiar with the T-Zone and the product’s reputation for durability, so I contacted them. Right away, I could tell that it was well-designed and well-constructed," Glissman said.

The 11 Line cylindrical locksets are specifically designed for high-traffic and high-abuse areas; in fact, they undergo testing that exceeds 10 million cycles. The locksets feature solid-cast levers and a patented T-Zone construction design which helps them withstand more than three times the ANSI-BHMA Grade 1 torque resistance requirements at over 3000 inch pounds of excessive force or extreme abuse. That translates to more than 625 pounds at the end of the lever, or constant pressure from six 100-pound sixth graders.

Glissman began his own testing process in a few different schools that were already undergoing some new construction and/or remodeling. To really test the strength and functionality of the 11 Line locks, Glissman initially focused on a couple dozen doors that were constantly being vandalized.

"After seeing the 11 Line lock in action at these trouble spots where vandalism had been a huge problem, the durability and functionality of the Sargent locksets spoke for itself," Glissman said. "I was sold."

According to Glissman, the installation process of the 11 Line locksets has gone smoothly. “Overall the 11 line is remarkably easy to install,” Glissman said. The 11 Line lock features "out of the box and onto the door" packaging that organizes the parts, and comes complete with simple instructions and a small tool kit. No thru-bolts are required for installation and it fits into the standard 161 door prep.

Glissman is so pleased with the way that the 11 Line locksets are working out that he has plans to replace more door-related hardware with Sargent products. In fact, he’s already set this project in motion.

"I’ve installed a couple mortise lock sets and they’re working out great," he said. "We’re getting ready to replace all the mortise sets and panic bars with Sargent products, as we continue to replace old or failing cylinder locksets with the 11 Line."

Glissman feels that the money he’s spending to upgrade the LodiUSD’s door locks and hardware is certainly money well spent.

"As the guy who maintains these things, it’s much smarter for me to spend more money purchasing top-quality locks up front than to have to purchase replacement parts for failed parts down the road," Glissman concluded. "I’ve been down that road, and thanks to Sargent and the 11 Line cylindrical lock, I don’t have to go back."