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Cranston High School Identifies Security Solution and Saves Money Using Cooperative Purchasing

Cranston High School EastTHE CHALLENGE

Cranston High School East (CHSE) in Cranston, R.I., educates more than 1,700 students in grades 9-12. Known as the Thunderbolts, the school was experiencing vandalism and theft in its hallways. In fact, over the past year, the school had several computers and musical instruments stolen.

The school and the local police department knew it was time to do something. They determined an important way to deter behavior would be to monitor the hallways with security cameras. Working with a $25,000 grant, school officials put the opportunity out to bid, but never received a response.

Through his connection at the City of Cranston, Chris Tracy, Graybar Providence Sales Representative, learned that the school was having difficulty securing a bid. Chris spoke with school officials and suggested they look to Graybar for a solution.

As a distributor of high-quality electrical, communications, networking and security products, Graybar holds the U.S. Communities contract, which means Graybar could save the school a significant amount of money on its facility improvements, including this security purchase.

U.S. Communities is a nonprofit, government-purchasing cooperative that assists public agencies, such as local and state government agencies, school districts, higher education and nonprofits. U.S. Communities works by reducing the cost of purchased goods and services by pooling the purchasing power of public agencies nationwide.

Tracy set up a meeting with City officials to walk through the school and discuss the security solution requirements.

“There were more than 20 camera locations identified, but given money constraints, we would have to find the right solution to accomplish the goals and fi t their budget,” Tracy said.

The City of Cranston had a long-range plan of implementing a security solution for the entire city starting with CHSE. Therefore, the school wanted a quality solution that could grow into a larger enterprise and work with the City’s future security system.

“We could have suggested a solution with little integration and limited growth capabilities, but the system would not satisfy the client’s needs for the future,” said Lawrence Mok, Graybar Somerville Security Marketing Manager. “We had to dig deeper.”


After much discussion, Graybar recommended a robust solution with fewer cameras, but one that provided the growth and integration capability and ease of use the school needed. To protect the school’s primary areas of concern, the solution included a combination of high resolution cameras including Pelco’s IS111 Day/Night Camclosures and Toshiba’s Color Vandal Resistant IK-WR01A dome cameras.

To save the school money, Graybar suggested a hybrid recorder (Toshiba’s HVS) to take advantage of low-cost analog cameras, with the option of upgrading to IP cameras in the future. Also included was NVT’s powered hub transceiver to provide power and video transmission over a single UTP cable, which was vital due to the limited conduit space available.

“By using the NVT powered hub transceiver, we were able to take advantage of the existing conduit infrastructure between closets, making cabling easier and less costly,” Tracy said.

To install the security system, Graybar engaged Ralco Electric. Before the installation began, Graybar worked with Ralco and the local Toshiba manufacturer representative, Integrated Marketing Solutions (IMS), so Ralco had a smooth installation that met CHSE’s expectations.


By engaging Graybar and taking advantage of the U.S. Communities Contract, the City of Cranston purchased a comprehensive security solution that fit their budget and prepared them for future expansion. The school’s investments are now protected and their most important assets, the Thunderbolts, can feel safe and focus on their studies.

Sponsored by: U.S. Communities. To view all cooperative contracts available for education, visit www.uscommunities.org.

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