Did You Know?: Purdue Lock Shop

October 19, 2012  


Mike Dexter

Mike Dexter, supervisor for the lock, carpentry, sheet metal and welding shops, says the Lock Shop generally has more than 100 work orders in the system at any given time. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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Randy Copas, Purdue Physical Facilities Lock Shop crew chief, works to keep Purdue's doors open -- all 30,000 of them.

The Lock Shop is responsible for managing and repairing all aspects of the 30,000 doors on campus, as well as servicing all filing cabinets, creating replacement keys and keying all new campus buildings. In a year, the shop cuts more than 5,000 new and replacement keys.

Copas is the crew chief for both the lock and carpentry shops and has been with Physical Facilities for 33 years. As crew chief, he assigns and monitors work orders, orders materials and acts as manager for his team of 12 employees, four of whom are locksmiths.

As part of Central Shops, the Lock Shop works to complete University projects, and assists contracted companies on large projects.

Creating a keying system for new buildings is one of the more complex projects of the shop. A plan must be made that outlines the level of security throughout the facility and lists who may gain access to certain departments, labs and rooms.

"We receive key requests on a daily basis and for the majority of these we can have keys back to our customers within a week or so," Copas says. "However, new facilities generally require many hours of planning before we can even begin installing locks."

Mike Dexter, supervisor for the lock, carpentry, sheet metal and welding shops, says, "When new locks come to us, they don't function yet. So the Lock Shop staff have to properly set up the cylinders for the individual locks before they are ready to be installed."

Facilities are planned with a pyramidal hierarchy of access, ensuring that administrators, professors and staff can appropriately access and secure facilities and the rooms and labs therein. Dexter says more than 400 keys may be made for just one new building.

Dexter says the Lock Shop generally has more than 100 work orders in the system at any given time. When a work order is received, the shop is responsible for contacting the client and notifying them of an approximate completion date. However, issues of safety and security get highest priority.

"We're working to make sure work orders have the fastest turnaround possible," Dexter says. "But when needs arise that involve safety or security, we clearly must address those first."

In the course of his work, Copas says, he has worked with all types of members of Purdue's community -- from students to University presidents.

"I like the challenge of working with such a diverse group of people -- both my team members and my clients," Copas says.

Writer: Rachel Florman, rflorman@purdue.edu

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