After almost a semester with dilapidated emergency phones, the university is preparing to install seven new call boxes with cell phone technology.
Virgil Robinson, crime prevention coordinator, said the call boxes should be installed by the end of July. Exact placements will be known after a planning meeting with the Physical Plant and the company contracted to install the call boxes SecureNet the week of June 27.
Each of the call boxes, which will use a cell phone to dial directly into the UTD switchboard, have two-way speakers and run on solar power.
“In the old days we used radio, now they’re using cell phone technology,” said Paul Watson, UTD senior buyer. “It’s pretty neat.”
The total project costs $68,736, and at $7,765 each, Watson said the call boxes are “kind of expensive in the scheme of things.”
“We are kind of spending money for the what-ifs, the few people who don’t have cell phones,” Watson added.
Robinson said he hopes to campaign about the use and abuse of the call boxes after the new emergency phones are installed.
“A lot of (the emergency phones) are misused. They are not out there for convenience, they are for security purposes,” Robinson said. “It’s basically a 911.”
The original call boxes were installed before many of the current buildings were constructed, but the new emergency phones locations will now reflect UTD’s growth.
The new call boxes will be placed:
<em>Between Lot A and Lot B (parking lots behind the Green Building) at the east end</em>
<em>Between Lot C and Lot D (parking lots behind the McDermott Library)</em>
<em>Walkway between Lot C and Lot D</em>
<em>North of University Pkwy and Drive A intersection</em>
<em>Between the Bookstore and the Student Union close to Drive A</em>
<em>Southwest corner of Activity Center parking lot</em>
<em>Northwest corner of Hoblitzelle Hall.</em>