Hastings Christian School

Gallagher's security solutions help Hastings Christian School take their gym from vision to reality.

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Hastings Christian School (HCS), a non-denominational special character school serving years 1-13, has a problem many small schools dream of: they’re growing. They opened in 1987 with 16 children and just one teacher. In 2023, the roll sits at 340, and with that growth comes challenges for its facilities.

“Over the years we’ve expanded our buildings, but one sticking point has been the absence of a gymnasium,” says HCS Principal, Gavin Clark. Without a gym, HCS has been forced to rent an off-site facility for student sports and school events.

That’s why in recent years, HCS has been working toward a goal of building a gym to improve the student experience, serve as a community hub, and generate an additional source of income for their growing school.

But to achieve that goal, they needed a security solution that could help them safely share their gym with the community while still protecting the rest of their school.

Flexible controls for building a community space

“The whole process started with a conversation about security,” says Eric Meinsma, who sits on both the HCS Board of Proprietor and Board of Trustees and is the brains behind the gym’s construction. “We worked with a Gallagher Certified Channel Partner, HSM Group Limited, who gave us two proposals: one was the Gallagher system, and I can’t even recall the other brand as Gallagher quickly became the preferred option because the technology was more advanced.”

Gallagher’s variety of integrations gave HCS options for locks that came within their budget, and the Command Centre Mobile App enabled them to control access remotely, making it easier for staff to manage the gym at night and on weekends. The Command Centre Mobile App also gave them the ability to specify which doors visitors could access, automation of day-to-day activities, and easier tracking of facility schedules.

And with that flexibility, opportunities to open their gym’s doors to the community grew and made the entire project more economical.

“We want to protect our children and teachers and we realised a holistic security solution is the direction we need to take moving forward, especially in all our new builds as our school continues to expand.”

Gavin Clark, Principal, Hastings Christian School

Increasing safety and creating peace of mind

As plans for the gym kicked off, Hastings Christian School quickly realised the potential Gallagher’s solutions had to benefit the school as a whole.

“Command Centre is very, very powerful, and in particular we saw its value for lockdown situations where there is a serious or active threat that requires a rapid, efficient response,” says Eric. Though they hope to never use it, having the ability to secure HCS quickly and easily gives both Eric and Gavin peace of mind.

“We want to protect our children and teachers,” Gavin explains, “and we realised a holistic security solution is the direction we need to take moving forward, especially in all our new builds as our school continues to expand.”

Looking forward

After 10 years in planning, Hastings Christian School’s gym is preparing to open its doors to the Hawke’s Bay community in the winter of 2023 with the confidence that managing access will be simple, smooth, and effective.

“We’ve had this dream for a long time,” says Gavin. “Now that it’s finally becoming a reality, we’re all very excited.” And as HCS continues to grow, the foundation for protecting what matters most is in place to grow along with them.

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