Total Security Solutions’ experience with higher education settings means we understand the complexities of retrofitting historic structures with bullet proof security, recognizing that good design balances functional, aesthetic, and security concerns.
The new home for the Public Safety Department of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan is an adaptive re-use of a 32,000 sq. ft. speedometer factory, built in 1924. The facility, designed by CDPA Architects of Southfield, Michigan houses an operations center, locker and training rooms, jail, administrative offices and records. Campus road and bike patrols also operate out of the facility. CDPA sought the expertise of Total Security Solutions for a 4,000 sq. ft. area in the first-floor vestibule; a high-traffic area where cash is exchanged and jail visitors enter the facility. TSS designed a complete Level III bullet-resistant barrier system that integrates interior cladding, bullet proof doors, ballistic glass, baffled teller windows with cash trays, and extruded aluminum framing. Windows facing the city street that borders the campus were fortified with ballistic-grade polycarbonate. Since the TSS space is completely enclosed, the company designed a unique airflow system that utilizes perforated and baffled polycarbonate panels to move air throughout the space while maintaining Level III security. Bringing this type of technology into an 84-year-old structure, without compromising the original design, was a challenge. But according to CDPA’s Louis Martigan, TSS took it in stride. “The vestibule features very high ceilings – 13 feet – a look that we wanted to save, along with the distinctive plaster cornices. TSS designed a tall system that maximized glazing and downplayed the framing, helping to keep the area very open and transparent. It’s high security, but it doesn’t mask the ornate architectural features.”