Mortise Lock Status Indicators Secure Classrooms in Historical Elementary School Renovation

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In keeping with the building’s history, classroom doors were custom-made stile and rail oak which provides a unique upscale look to the space. But, for Cleveland-based Van Auken Akins Architects and construction manager Gilbane Building Co., the challenge was not only to maintain the historical interior design aesthetic but, more importantly, to ensure the safety and security of students, teachers and staff.

Background

Fernway Elementary School, part of Shaker Heights, Ohio school district in the suburbs of Cleveland, was built in 1927, the same year Lindbergh completed the first solo transatlantic flight. Nearly 100 years later, when fire ripped through the school in the summer of 2018, no one was injured, but the damage was extensive. In fact, the fire displaced nearly 300 K-4 students for two years.

 

The Challenge

In keeping with the building’s history, classroom doors were custom-made stile and rail oak which provides a unique upscale look to the space. But, for Clevelandbased Van Auken Akins Architects and construction manager Gilbane Building Co., the challenge was not only to maintain the historical interior design aesthetic but, more importantly, to ensure the safety and security of students, teachers and staff.

 

The Solution

After researching available locks and security options for classroom doors, Van Auken Akins Architects, LLC specified new Corbin Russwin mortise locks with status indicators for the project.

Not only do the mortise locks provide maximum security to students and staff, they include status indicators that clearly display whether a door is locked or unlocked. They feature a viewing window that is 25 percent larger than the industry standard and incorporate a patent-pending curved design which enables users to easily see the indicator from all angles.

R.J. Frato, project engineer with Gilbane Building, said, “In the midst of an active crisis, teachers have several possibly life-saving duties to perform – not the least of which is ensuring the classroom door is locked. With this mortise lock indicator, teachers can easily see if the door is locked or unlocked, even if they’re standing across the room or up against an adjacent wall.”

“The thumb turn is directly below the indicator so, to lock it, they simply turn it, it clicks, and they can rest assured that the door is locked. It’s that easy. There’s no need to fumble with keys which can be a challenge in high-stress situations.”

 

Functionality Meets Aesthetics

To uphold the building’s aesthetics, the status indicators were each configured with sectional trim. To enhance the look even further, the levers are part of Corbin Russwin’s elegant Muséo® line.

“We installed 26 indicators throughout this project, on all classroom doors as well as single-occupancy restroom doors, explained Frato. “And, going forward, the Corbin Russwin status indicators will be recommended for all new and retrofit projects within the Shaker Heights school district.”

He added, “The best thing about these mortise locks and status indicators is the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality or security.”

Status Indicator Benefits

• Viewing window 25% larger than industry standard for easy viewing

• Patent-pending curved design provides all-angle visibility

• Customizable with text, color and symbols

• Optional reflective coating for low light conditions

• Upgrade kits available

• Available in 15 finishes

• ADA compliant

• Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) available

Typical Installation

• Classroom doors

• Restrooms

• Privacy rooms

• Nursing/new mother rooms

• Patient rooms

• Corporate meditation and nap spaces

• Meeting rooms