26
April
2019
|
16:54
America/Tegucigalpa

U of A enhancing security in HUB Mall & Residence

University acting on priority recommendations of security review, with further measures to come.

By SHAWNA DIRKSEN

The University of Alberta is taking measures to enhance security for residents and commercial tenants of the HUB Mall & Residence, as a result of recommendations from a crime-prevention review the university commissioned.

Over the summer, the U of A will retrofit nearly 100 interior and exterior HUB doors, installing key locks on the ground level and adding card access at the mall level.

“It’s not just about security, it’s about creating a safe and welcoming environment for all the users of HUB, our residents, students, academics, merchants and visitors to campus,” said Rob Pawliuk, director of building operations.

HUB Mall is a public retail space that also houses about 800 students across six floors and is the only university residence whose exterior doors remain unlocked after hours.

In the past months, residents expressed concerns about the security of the building. The university’s Campus Facilities Safety and Security Working Group hired Urban Security Innovation, a security risk and management consulting firm, to conduct a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) review. The standardized review of security measures looked at, among other things, the measures currently in place at HUB.

The review will be finalized at the end of May but a draft review with preliminary recommendations was recently made available to university administrators.

The preliminary recommendations from the CPTED review include how to implement additional proposed safety features—like video camera surveillance, improved lighting, and improved wayfinding and signage—in the future.

“We are looking at how future improvements will benefit all users, creating an environment where everyone feels safe at any time of the day or night,” said Pawliuk.

Jared Larsen, who served on the working group as president of the HUB Community Association, said he was proud of the work done throughout the year by everyone involved in creating the CPTED review.

“We’re excited to see the university's plan come to fruition,” he added.

In addition to the CPTED review’s recommendations, the working group called for uniformed peace officers to provide surveillance to “hot spots” across campus, including areas of the mall with the highest levels of suspicious activity.

The university will create a communication and education plan to enhance safety and security for the campus community. The plan, which the university expects to begin rolling out by fall 2019, will guide students and staff on how to work together to make the university campus safer.