Campus sees summer updates

Truman State University enacted a variety of structural and security updates throughout the summer of 2022 that impact student life on campus. 

One of the largest projects was the installation of 76 security cameras across the campus, primarily in outdoor areas such as parking lots and bike racks, said Physical Plant Director, Sam Guth. By Aug. 10, most of the cameras were installed. Guth said he expected the remaining ones to be installed within a week of that date.

Guth said all cameras were produced domestically and only a few cameras were backordered. The installation process was overall successful with everything moving smoothly, Guth said. 

Chief of Public Safety, Sara Seifert, said public safety officers will be trained to use the cameras once they are all fully operational. The company that manufactured the cameras will provide training modules to assist in officer training. Seifert said one of the reasons this camera service was chosen was because it is very user friendly and easy to navigate. 

All officers will have the ability to monitor the cameras, but only one or two will have administrative rights. Administrators will be able to complete tasks such as burning videos onto disks. These cameras will not be monitored 24/7, but officers will have the ability to view cameras through an app on their phone if an incident occurs. Footage will also be reviewed if something such as a criminal event occurs on campus. Other people who want video footage unrelated to a criminal matter will have to put in a request to the university counsel, Amy Clendenen.

“The cameras are just another tool to keep people safe on campus,” Seifert said. “I don’t want them to forget about getting their heads up, putting their phones down, making sure they’re aware of where they’re at, what they’re doing, because self-awareness and keeping yourself apprised of what’s going on around you is probably your number one safety tool.”

In addition to the cameras being added onto campus, other updates have occurred during 2022 along with more being planned for the future. Centennial Hall is closed this year because of plans to update the single paned, original windows in the residence hall.

Dave Rector, vice president of administration and finance, explained that the initial estimate to update the north side’s windows was $60,000. After a competitive bid, the cost of installation increased to $120,000. Adding in the remaining sides and labor costs, the total cost jumped to around $1.26 million just to install new windows.

 Along with this, because of supply chain issues, the windows cannot be delivered until December, which would be a difficult time for carpenters to begin working within the building.  These factors resulted in the University deciding to put the updates to Centennial Hall on hold until the costs of the project can be brought down.  

Rector also explained that renovations were completed in the north wing of Pershing during spring 2022. New heat and air conditioning units were added into the building along with an expansion of the nursing lab on the top floor. Athletic offices were updated in the north wing to provide more space for people there. The total cost of this project was $4.8 million. The state provided the money for this project.