Ahead of Fall sporting events, the O’Connell Center has put new security measures in place.
The O’Connell Center installed metal detectors at all gates in preparation for the first sporting event of the season, a women’s volleyball game held Friday. Lynda Reinhart, director of the O’Connell Center, said the metal detectors cost $55,000. The recently renovated O’Connell Center opened in Fall 2016 and cost $64.5 million, according to Alligator archives.
More venues across the country have begun using metal detectors, which influenced the decision to install them, Reinhart said.
“Based on industry trends, we felt it was important for us to be proactive in adopting these security measures rather than reactive,” Reinhart said.
In continuation of prior security measures, visitors entering the center with bags will continue to have them checked before entering.
More staff members will be involved with security, Reinhart said. These staff members will provide instructions, monitor the flow of traffic and give secondary screenings if necessary, Reinhart said.
“Our aim is to prevent obviously dangerous items while minimizing the inconvenience to our guests,” Reinhart said.
Michelle Sindoni, a 21-year-old UF psychology senior, passed through the new metal detectors before entering the volleyball game Friday.
“It was relatively simple,” Sindoni said. “It was not a big difference. It was a seamless transition.”