Haverfordwest High VC School was formed in September 2018 when Tasker Milward Voluntary Controlled School and Sir Thomas Picton School merged.
In the Autumn of 2020, Pembrokeshire County Council commissioned lead contractor Morgan Sindall Construction to commence work on the construction of a new, £44.7m school, comprising educational and sports facilities.
As part of the M&E aspect of the contract, Plexus FS was appointed to install:
- Access Control
- Fire Safety
- Security Alarms
“This was a significant contract to work on,” said Business Development Manager, Tom Balfry, “and one in which we were delighted to install so many of the core systems needed to keep staff, students and visitors safe.”
With work on the M&E aspect of the project starting in 2021, the whole project took around 8 months, from start to finish and included:
With 1500 students aged between 11 and 16, and 250 sixth-form students, staff, visitors and those using the Pembrokeshire Sports Village, a reliable CCTV system was of paramount importance.
In line with the brief, we installed over 90 Hanwha IP CCTV cameras, covering internal and external areas including corridors, communal areas, libraries, sports pitches, carparks and more.
“With a footprint of over 1.45 km, the CCTV system needed to be reliable, robust and easy to monitor and access and with the Hanwha system, we installed a range of vandal-proof dome and bullet cameras that all fed into a central security centre within the school,” said Tom.
Controlling access at the school was not only about safety, it also enabled the school’s leadership to manage the flow of students, staff, visitors and contractors.
Plexus FS installed a large Paxton Net2 system, the preferred access control manufacturer for Pembrokeshire County Council.
The system had around 40 access-controlled doors installed across the school and sports buildings. Each system is controlled independently via PC software.
The system included various video entry intercom panels which are used for visitors, contractors and deliveries. When arriving, the visitor would call from any of the panel locations, this would call the intercom handset within the reception office and the receptionist could remotely open the required door or vehicle barrier.
“With proximity fobs given to all staff and some of the students, this enabled the school to control who had access to which rooms and zones. The Paxton Pro software also records a log of who was where and when. Different access rights were given to different fobs as there are rooms such as the gym, comms rooms etc where only certain people could gain access.”
With over 1,800 people on-site at any given time, the Advanced MxPro Fire Safety System gave the school peace of mind that they were protected in the event of a fire.
Multiple Sensor units were installed throughout the school as well as several disabled refuge points, all of which linked to control panels that covered the various zones at the school.
The system also communicated directly with the local fire station, so in the event of an alarm, an automatic signal would be sent informing the fire officers that an alarm had been triggered and which zone was involved.
As a newly built, state-of-the-art school, a significant investment had been made in the technology used by the school, including IT equipment, sports equipment and much more.
To protect the valuables kept on site, a Texecom alarm system was installed. The system included multiple sensors located across the property, however, it wasn’t until the system was due to be commissioned that a significant issue in the sensors was identified.
The Plexus FS Approach to Customer Service
Like all alarm sensors, they are spot-checked by the manufacturer, however, it is not until the units are installed and wired that some issues come to light and this is exactly what happened on this project.
Once all sensor units had been installed, the system was switched on and tested. However, the alarm began sounding when rooms and doors were sealed, pointing to an issue with the sensors.
Due to the volume of the sensors installed, it was almost impossible to identify the faulty unit and although we could have sent all sensors back to the manufacturer, this would have taken too long causing problems for the project as a whole.
To that end, Plexus FS took ownership of the situation as Tom explained.
“We have been using these sensors for years without issue, so this was very unusual, however, as we were due to work on a similar-sized project, we had enough sensors in our warehouse to use on this job and re-order new ones for the future job.”
“This not only meant that the school had a fully tested and commissioned
alarm system, but the project was not delayed and in fact, thanks to all contractors on site, the school opened 2 weeks ahead of schedule.”