New building security measures to begin this fall

Written by 

UAB is implementing a building safety plan that will promote greater control over access to campus facilities and employ additional technologies to enhance security for faculty, staff and students. The roll-out will be in three phases and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2019.

This is the latest advance in the university’s policy and practice of enhancing safety through analysis, training and communication and technology, said Anthony Purcell, associate vice president for Public Safety and Chief of Police.

“Our campus performs as well as or better in safety statistics than similar urban institutions even as it expands and enrollment and employment increases,” Purcell said. “Nonetheless, we continue to be vigilant — and that includes adopting and implementing best practices for securing the facilities in which our students and employees teach, research, work and live.”

With the new security procedures, most buildings will be open to anyone with a legitimate purpose 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday- Friday and accessible by the UAB ONE Card after work hours and during weekends. Some buildings will require key card access at all times; for example, a 24/7 lockdown will be effective Sept. 1 for Shelby Research Building and Oct. 1 for Lister Hill Library.

UAB’s ONE Card, which has been in use since January 2013, is provided to all faculty, staff and students as the university’s official identification. It already is required for transactions that range from parking and dining to event or door access.

“A UAB ONE card is a simple way to identify members of the campus community,” said Ozzie Taylor, director of Physical Security. “Having it with you at all times helps ensure that you are free to move through secure facilities as needed and that you can readily identify others who may not belong.

“Each one of us has a role to play in campus safety,” Taylor said. For most, it’s wearing our ONE Card.”

Implementation ahead

Phase I, which will include Lister Hill and Mervyn Sterne libraries, Collat School of Business, School of Nursing and the Shelby Research Building, should be complete by Oct. 1. Generally speaking, no action should be necessary on the part of a card holder to have their OneCard programed for access to appropriate buildings; OneCards will be programmed with access relative to an individual’s class and/or work schedules and needs. Students, faculty and staff should only need to request approval for access if his or her OneCard does not work where they believe it should. Students and faculty/staff do not need to request permission to access the libraries, once lockdown procedures are implemented, those with valid OneCards will be able to access those buildings during operating hours.

Security measures will vary by the primary use for each building, though some will be shared by most:

  • Main entrances will have key card access, and cameras will be installed.
  • Exit doors will allow egress but be suited with alarms and cameras that trigger if propped open.
  • Security cameras and a hard-wired lockdown button will be installed in every classroom for new construction and renovations; older classrooms will be phased in over time.

Any additional restrictions will be communicated to each building’s residents, and signs will be posted on each building that specify open and restricted access times as these changes become effective.

Employees whose ONE Card is lost or damaged should get a replacement. Complete and submit the form online at Direct questions to