Organizations Facing Large Rekey Projects

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Large Rekey ProjectsIn a company or organization, it’s up to the organizational leaders to make sure that their people, property and possessions are kept safe and secure. Part of the strategy relies on the keying method used in the building(s). Kenton Brothers has been helping companies with large rekey projects since 1897.

So where does a company start when it comes to large rekey projects? What details are needed? How can they secure buildings and maintain control when handing out keys? Are there different levels of restricted cylinders to help secure the facility? All of these questions and more will be answered as we dive into large rekey projects.

The Rekey Plan

Everything starts with a plan, and it should be a plan that has the end goal in mind. Part of a rekey plan is an evaluation of many things including who should have access, what type of keys should be issued to employees and which keys should not, how should the key system be structured, how do you mitigate liability if a key is lost, how can keys be organized and how do we track who we issued keys to? What level of restriction should you have on the keys and cylinders? Will existing door hardware work or does it need to be switched out?

Large Rekey ProjectsSetting up a master key system for one large facility, a campus environment with multiple buildings, or even a scenario where there are different buildings across the country can all be handled by setting up a master key system that allows for growth/expansion and the flexibility within that system to do so.

A site survey(s) should be done by the company hired for the large rekey project. (Hopefully, that would be our team at Kenton Brothers!) From there, several meetings should occur to discuss the set up of the master key system, discuss the level of security you want with the keys/cylinders and set expectations for the rekey itself.

Organization of the physical keys, cores and additional information can come in many forms, but the three most common we see are:

1) The customer purchases a key management software system. (We have a great recommendation if you are looking…) and manages it themselves
2) Kenton Brothers manages the key system through our software and we handle any change requests
3) The keying system is a factory-maintained system (which comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.)

Once the planning stages have been completed, you will move on to the next step of the process… waiting for parts.

The Waiting Game

Large Rekey ProjectsSo now that a master key system has been agreed upon, pricing approved, and materials are on order, what are the next steps? At this point, you will have chosen the path of how you will manage your key system; either internally or through a company such as Kenton Brothers. 80% of the effectiveness of the new keying system is in maintaining control of the keys!

One of the big things to prepare for is communication to the employees and staff who will be issued new keys. You will want to communicate that this is coming, when it’s happening, set up strict instructions on checking out keys, reporting lost keys and what to do if you find a key laying around.

From the start, it’s important that clear expectations are set because keys are such an integral part of your security plan. You will also be in weekly or bi-weekly contact with a Project Manager dedicated to your project for  planning, when the product will arrive, any last-minute questions, and any pre-install meetings before the installation begins.

The Install

The install itself will begin with a Project Manager (PM) introducing you to the technicians who will be working on the project. The PM makes sure that once on site, the techs have clear expectations of their daily goals, know the location of material being stored onsite (if applicable), and any other project related questions they might have. Then the work begins!

The PM is the point of contact for the project. They need to keep everyone up to date, share milestones that have been completed and work through punch list items as the project progresses. Once the project is complete, there will be a final walk through. When the project is deemed complete as compared to the scope of work, a warranty form should be completed and signed.

Once the project is finished, there will be several documents that need to be delivered by the PM for records. Those documents include the following: A fully completed warranty activation form, any maps/plans used during the project fully marked up to show how things were keyed or installed, keying records if requested, and any other documents deemed necessary for the project.


Large Rekey Projects can be stressful, take time and require a lot of planning. That said, the end result is worth it.

You now have complete key control over the building(s) that you oversee. You have taken a major step to protect the property, possessions, and people who work/live within the buildings, and you have a plan moving forward that is sustainable and mitigates liability.

If your organization is considering a rekey project and you don’t have a company you trust helping you, please give us a call. We’ve helped thousands of companies over the years with large rekey projects, allowing them to take back control of their security. Get back your peace of mind!

Project Spotlight: City Union Mission

By Alana Hanly, Security Consultant at Kenton Brothers

City Union Mission LogoMany natives recognize City Union Mission as one of Kansas City’s long-standing organizations committed to ending the cycle of homelessness and poverty for the underserved men, women and children in the area. Since 1924, City Union Mission has run, operated and flourished in part through the donation and assistance of many individuals, churches, groups, foundations and businesses that have a heart for the poor and homeless in Kansas City.

Recently, City Union Mission reached out to many integrators in the area seeking proposals on how to help their organization, now occupying 14 different properties, keep their people, property and assets safe. We are so fortunate to have won their business and the opportunity to show them how it’s done: two large projects each completed in a single month. That’s the KB Way.

One Building at a Time? Not Kenton Brothers

City Union Mission Project - 2022In order to upgrade multiple facilities, most organizations have to go through the process one at a time.

For City Union Mission, their first priority was their Admin Building. Initially they had an idea of the direction they wanted to go for access control at this facility, but ultimately decided that a Gallagher Security solution was the platform they wanted for their facilities. For this project, Kenton Brothers was tasked to electronically secure 16 doors and their vehicle gate at this location. On the surface, that might seem simple enough, but there are no projects without hurdles.

For this particular project the obstacle was understanding and organizing all of the key players to develop a complete solution that encompassed the most important mission objectives. Our Senior Security Consultant, Kevin Whaley, worked extensively with City Union Mission’s IT and Security team to ensure the final plan would meet their current and future needs. Upon completion of the project and following up with the CIO, Mark Rondaeu shared, “The Gallagher System is just impressive, and when we have questions about anything your team is quick to answer. Your team really knows what they are talking about.”

From Kansas City to Warsaw

City Union Mission Project - 2022While we were working on the Admin Building Project, the City Union Mission team also tasked us with their next important location: their Youth Camp.

The Youth Camp covers over 800 acres! The City Union Mission Camp in the Ozarks is a place for children from low-income families to get away, learn and grow in a positive setting. For them, having a good surveillance system that allows them full viewing coverage of their critical risk points was crucial. Kenton Brothers installed a Hanhwa Techwin commercial video surveillance solution that can withstand the fluctuating outdoor climate of the Midwest. We also recommended a maintenance plan to ensure their investment lasts.

This project required close coordination with City Union Mission because of the tight deadlines we needed to meet along with the various players that were in charge of the completion of the many project milestones. Like creating flawless rows of Tetris, the project management team had a lot of people putting a great amount of effort into what became a great result.

Sometimes our most remarkable project moments take place after a project is finished.

It’s not often when reviewing a project with a customer for feedback that we hear their most memorable part of it was our billing. This is something we rarely hear about when getting post project feedback. But as the project completed and City Union Mission paid off the investment of their new systems, it came to our Accounting Department’s attention that we were actually overpaid! When speaking to Mark about this, he declared, “When your team called us and let us know we overpaid, I went to our [leadership] and told them we cannot do business with anyone else in the area. To have such high integrity means so much to us! And because of that, we look forward to a long partnership with Kenton Brothers.”

At Kenton Brothers, we’re proud to partner with organizations as compassionate as City Union Mission. This project was a great reminder why Customer Focus and Integrity are some of the core values we live by.

Thank you again to City Union Mission for a wonderful new relationship and a successful project.

City Union Mission Project - 2022 City Union Mission Project - 2022 City Union Mission Project - 2022

Project Spotlight: Allen County Sheriff’s Office

Allen County Intercom ProjectBy Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

The Allen County Sheriff’s Office intercom system is part of the critical infrastructure that allows communication throughout the detention center. It serves as a tool for safety and security for officers and detainees equally. The existing system was operational, but aging. As part of the critical infrastructure, we needed to make sure it stays operational as well as make it possible to add future capabilities.

The server room is tight.

Allen County Intercom ProjectWith two equipment racks and cabinets on the wall, there wasn’t much room for testing and repairing any failed equipment. Every wire was in conduit extending down to the racks and cabinets, adding further difficulty to any troubleshooting. Replacing the intercoms was also our opportunity to re-organize the server room, consolidate equipment and remove one of the racks.

Because of the importance of the intercom system, it could not be offline while we weren’t physically there working on it. The idea was to organize and label the wires, then take the system, disconnect the wires, take out the rack, install the new rack, and re-connect the wires in one day. Then with the intercom operational again, we could clean up the other items around the server room and remove the empty rack.

This story is not about how things went perfectly. You know how people say “Man Plans, and God Laughs.”; This was one of those days. Today’s story is about how the KB team relied on knowledge, experience, and determination to overcome some difficult situations and meet our customer’s needs. #goteam

When we arrived, there was trouble with a shower valve.

Allen County Intercom ProjectThis cost us a couple of hours right off the bat. It was important to the customer, so we switched priorities to take care of them. Charlie, one of our project team members, got called away on a personal matter. Family comes first, so Jeremy and I wished him safe travels and hoped everything would be OK. (Thankfully, they are.)

Jeremy and I got started. It’s easy to say during project planning that we would just disconnect and reconnect the wires, but I think we underestimated what disconnecting and reconnecting 400 wires would actually take. Especially when everything was in conduit. After getting started at about 10 am we executed the plan. We stuck it out until about 7:30 pm when we finished connecting the last wire. With the new rack and new system in place, we were ready to start testing.

Wouldn’t it be great if everything was turned on and worked perfectly?

That just wasn’t the case. After about an hour of troubleshooting, we had to make a call. We couldn’t leave without a working intercom system, so we decided to put the old system back into play. A large portion of the project had been completed with the cabling and rack work. And we knew it would be a good idea to get to a stopping point and regroup. All the wires could stay in the rack, so we re-racked the old equipment and re-connected the intercoms and made sure everything was working. With the system back up and operational, we called it a day at 9:45 pm.

With the new rack in place, we decided to continue the server room clean-up while troubleshooting the new intercom system. Charlie was back in action. He and Jeremy continued working on the server room while I took the intercom back to the workbench at Kenton Brothers. After stepping through each component of the intercom system, we found the culprit. (It seems like it’s always the $10 part that fails.) After replacing the faulty part, Charlie was able to make a return trip to the Allen County Sheriff’s Office to reconnect the new intercoms and leave a more organized server room.

The difference is drastic as you can see in the before (left) and after (right) pictures.

Allen County Intercom Project - Before Allen County Intercom Project - After

Allen County Sheriff’s Office has a new intercom system that will serve them well for many years. And they have a server room with more space and much better organization. This will allow future equipment additions and troubleshooting to be done efficiently.

We are proud to be partnered with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office for their commercial security needs. This was a challenging and rewarding project!

Access Control and Master Key Systems for the Banking Industry

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Banking Client Project SpotlightWith Kenton Brothers being in business 124+ years we have seen a ton of changes in the security industry. What started out as only mechanical locks and keys has morphed into access control, camera systems, and intrusion detection. The founders of Kenton Brothers William and Leon would be shocked and excited at what this industry has become. (Both William and Leon knew how important it was to properly secure your facility.)

A trend we’ve been seeing recently is customers who spend a lot of money on their access control systems, cameras systems and intrusion  detection systems, but a lot of times keying is an afterthought (or no thought at all.) This is a mistake. Incorporating a controlled keying system helps complete your facility’s security. If a person has a key and isn’t authorized, they can do damage. It’s so important to tie all aspects of security together.

Merging the Old with the New

The question becomes how do you take something that was developed hundreds of years ago in mechanical keys and locks and have it work properly with today’s technology? The answer is planning. You plan how you want people coming in and out of your facility to have access in case of key override, power failure, safety concerns, etc. This common security need allows Kenton Brothers to create master key plans just like William and Leon did so many years ago.

An example of this in the real world is a banking customer of Kenton Brothers who ties in access control and a master key system. They have specific doors they flow traffic through and specific doors people can access via card readers, which also work using key override. The key override is driven by who should be able to access a certain space. Kenton Brothers recently did several installs for this customer allowing our mechanical and integration technicians to work hand in hand to secure their extensive facilities. As a result of being in the banking industry, this customer is on a high security system, adding another layer of security and protection to their facilities.

Banking Client Project Spotlight Banking Client Project Spotlight

Questions you can ask yourself to help better secure your facility:

  • Do I know who has keys to my facility?
  • Should all of those people have keys?
  • Do I need to restrict access to certain sections or rooms?
  • Would the security of my facility and the people and possessions in it benefit from knowing exactly who has access to the facility at any time?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and need help implementing a solution, please reach out to Kenton Brothers. We will help you properly secure your facility from keys to access control and more!

Start Strong, Finish Strong – 1 Customer, 9 Schools, 5 Different General Contractors

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Start Strong, Finish StrongEarly May of 2021, Kenton Brothers was notified that we had won a commercial security project for a local school district that included 9 different school remodels with access control additions to each of the remodels. Included in the project were IP based intercoms, door release functions, web relay interfaces, and ADA integrations.

Kip Phillips was assigned as the Project Manager and I knew right away he had to Start Strong and Finish Strong because of several unique scenarios within the project.

Some of these potential challenges included:

  • Kenton Brothers was contracted directly with the school district and not the General Contractors
  • There were 9 different timelines that may or may not align depending on other trades
  • There were part logistics issues due to supply chain problems
  • Coordination with the General Contractors to ensure we installed our equipment at the right time

Kip knew that being properly prepared would allow him to maintain control of the project and be able to ensure its timely completion.

Relationship is Crucial in Complicated Projects

Start Strong, Finish StrongKenton Brothers prior relationship with the school district allowed us to not only win the job but also design exactly what the customer was needing.  Coordination began from there to align the timeline put out by the General Contractors to match what we were installing. Due to COVID, getting the parts we were contracted for took longer than normal. But there were also wait times on the parts that were needed from other trades to complete the projects.

Kip was in constant communication with everyone involved. Checking to see when parts were going to be delivered, getting them in our techs hands, and making sure the doors were in and ready for us to install the parts.

Timelines were a huge coordination component of this project. As doors and frames arrived, we had to get wiring in place so we wouldn’t get sealed out of physical places we needed to be. Sometimes, the notice that a door and frame had arrived was communicated to us the same day it was going to be installed. (Labor nightmare.) Kip had to shuffle a tech (or techs) off of one job and race over to the school district to make sure wiring was put into place quickly and correctly.

Start Strong, Finish StrongA lot of what Kenton Brothers had to do was contingent on other trades getting their work in place before we could do our work. This reality put us in a major time crunch to complete everything by the start of the school year.

Doing the Work

Kip was able to manage hundreds and hundreds of man hours spanning just a few weeks. He was able to keep everything in perspective by scheduling and organizing the techs efficiently. They knew what their tasks were each day, and they received the parts they needed.

Kip regularly attended weekly construction meetings to stay on top of everything and he provided feedback to the General Contractors, always being mindful of our deadlines. Being in constant communication with the techs, the school district, and the GCs allowed him to know where the projects stood at all times.

It helped that Kenton Brothers also had senior techs on the project… this allowed for good feedback back to Kip and our customer. The communication, the coordination, the anticipation of needs, and the strong project management allowed this project to finish successfully and on time. Our customer is happy!

This project properly aligned with the #KBWay of protecting people, property, and possessions. And we love the satisfaction of completing a project that will help the school district protect the kids and staff that work and learn in their buildings every day.

Start Strong, Finish Strong Start Strong, Finish Strong