SLW Gates Get Upgraded

The main entrance of Seven Lakes West. Maggie Beamguard/SLI

By Maggie Beamguard

Insider Editor

Update: The back gate repair was completed on Feb. 23.

Seven Lakes West continues to make improvements to its gates. New gates have been installed with integrated lighting at both the main and back entrances. The upgrades are part of a larger focus on community-wide security enhancement.

“The installation of the new gates provides our community with an improved access control system and averts unauthorized entrance into SLW,” said SLWLA Board President, Jack Roberts.

Many years past their designated useful life, the unreliable mechanical operations of the old gates were exacerbated by the increased number of daily cycles resulting from the growth of SLW and the increased volume of commercial vehicles, according to Roberts. There has been a substantial increase in external damage to the gates, due to intentional or accidental impact.

Other upgrades are in process.

“As part of the new gate replacement at the main gate, the gate in the egress or outbound lane has also been replaced and will become operational, which it has not been for a long period of time,” said Roberts.

“The camera systems at both gates will be replaced this year. In the meantime, the existing cameras are functional and are able to identify vehicles and individuals entering the community.”

New large, red signs clearly announce that the back entrance gate is currently for use by members only. Commercial trucks and visitors are directed to the main gate for entry. Additionally, an intercom system has been ordered and will be installed at the back gate.

“This will allow communication to the main gate’s guardhouse. The attendant will be able to remotely operate the gate as needed,” Roberts said.  

The process for planning and executing the installation of the gates and related software systems involved input from the Infrastructure, Safety and Security and IT committees as well as HRW’s Facility Manager. “The costs of the upgrades were available within the current fiscal year’s budget,” said Roberts.

Roberts reports that the back gate has been performing as designed and the gates at the main entrance, more recently installed, are going through the adjustment phase.

But there has been at least one hiccup. On Feb. 16, residents were updated by the board that the back entrance gate was malfunctioning. According to Roberts, the motherboard, a warranty item, went out and a replacement was ordered. It was expected to be operational again the week of February 19. 

The manner in which residents and their guests use the gates can contribute to their successful operations. Roberts discourages tailgating and advises it is important to wait until the gate is completely closed after a vehicle in front of you passes through.

“The gate must be closed, and no longer in motion prior to the next vehicle beginning to move through the gate,” he said. “Not waiting may result in damage to the vehicle as well as damage to the gate, for which the owner of the vehicle would be responsible.”

The Board is considering further upgrades later in 2024.

“Regarding the back gate, the Infrastructure Committee is working on a redesign of the road pattern that will also stipulate pre-planning for installation of a small guardhouse in the future,” Roberts said. “We will be presenting the design options to our community for their review and input.”

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