UM installing inside out locks in building after active intruder scare
Ann Arbor – The University of Michigan will install locks on all classroom and lab doors inside a building where reports of an active shooter triggered campus-wide panic last spring.
The sound of balloons popping during a sorority team-building event in Mason Hall in March caused fear at a nearby vigil for victims of the deadly New Zealand mosque shootings, and set off the active shooter alert.
Mason Hall will pilot new security measures that aim to help faculty, staff and students facilitate a faster lockdown in the case of an emergency, the university said Wednesday.
“The hope is in an emergency, regardless of what that might be, if people need to lock from the inside out, this will be a faster way than having to grab furniture and barricade themselves inside of a room,” UM spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen told MLive.
In March, the school’s Department of Public Safety and Security issued an alert telling students who were near Mason Hall to “run, hide, fight.” About 40 minutes later, the university sent another alert saying there “does not appear to be an active threat to the community.”
Broekhuizen noted that Mason Hall’s central location, its number of classrooms and the fact that it is an older building were other factors in choosing it to pilot the locks.
The Mason Hall pilot will give the university a better idea of how the locks work and what types of locks are needed with a number of different, older doors inside some of the more historic buildings on campus, Broekhuizen said.
UM’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction departments will work with its Department of Safety and Security to install the door locks, with work expected to be completed by the end of August.