A School in Paradise Gets the Wireless Network of its Dreams
Today schools have two primary goals: educating children and keeping them safe. For the largest coeducational, independent K-12 school on a single campus in the United States, that goal is doubly difficult because their campus spans 60 buildings over 77 acres. The large area coupled with the unique architecture—most campus buildings lack interior hallways and have doors that open to the outdoors—Punahou School in Hawai’i had interesting hurdles to overcome to update their facility.
In order to maintain better security, the school updated its 2006 Cisco Wireless network to a more modern solution. This new Cisco solution—which has seen the amount of access points grow to over 300 devices and also included a variety of Cisco Catalyst switches—allowed the Punahou School to take advantage of the Internet of Everything (IoE).
Whether it’s wireless door locks or high-definition security cameras monitoring the campus or even campus lighting and temperature control, the entire upgrade is being run through an updated Cisco network.
And as they say in Hawai’i, the proof is in the Poi.
“As Punahou continues to create an engaging, relevant, inspiring learning environment, everything is connected,” said David Parrish, chief architect for the Punahou School. “We don’t even debate about it. We just keep leveraging our switch infrastructure as part of future-proofing our campus.”
The new network has allowed the school to:
- Improve communication, safety and emergency response
- Improve process, operation efficiency and access to data through the IoE
The network improvements have retained the campus’ character and openness policies without sacrificing security measures. This means that one of the Punahou School’s unique characteristics, the doors are intentionally left open to the community during the school day, has remained in tact. This was an important consideration for school administrators as they wanted a solution that prepared them for the realities of the present while on to the traditions of the past.
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