Section 900: Physical Plant

Effective: June 21, 1994
Revised: April 2016
Review Date: April 2018
Responsible Party: Director of Facilities Services


It is the policy of Montana State University-Northern that other than during normal working hours, all buildings shall be locked in order to maintain the security of both the buildings and their contents.

Building coordinators have primary authority to approve issuance of keys to building occupants and approve transfer of keys between individuals. However, building coordinators should limit the number of keys issued to the minimum required by regular work assignments. The building coordinator should establish a system of key control to cover infrequent requirements. Building coordinators are:

Building Coordinator
Auto Mechanics, Farm Mechanics, and Electronics, Brockmann Center, ATC, Advanced Fuels, Metals Tech Dean, COTS
Cowan Hall, Donaldson Hall Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration
Armory Gym and Classrooms Director of Athletics
Hagener Science Center, Pershing Hall Dean, CEASN
Gym and PE Classrooms Director of Athletics
Hagener Science Center Dean, CEASN
Physical Plant Building Director, Facilities Services
Student Union Building, Residence Halls, Faculty Housing and Student Family Housing Dean of Students
Vande Bogart Library Director of Library
Food Service Food Service Manager


Staff members may be issued keys to university buildings upon the recommendation of the department chair, dean or administrative head and approval of the building coordinator, or his/her designee, in accordance with established procedures. For example, the Chief Information Officer would recommend to the Dean of the College of Technical Sciences that a key be issued to the lab monitor of the CAD Center.

Keys are issued for entry to university buildings for the purpose of conducting university business only.

  • An authorized individual entering or leaving a locked building shall not permit any individual to enter who would not normally be permitted to enter the building during the hours it is locked. An authorized individual may have guests so long as the guests stay in the proximity of the faculty or staff member having the assigned key and the authorized individual assumes full responsibility for their presence.
  • An authorized individual entering or leaving a locked building shall be responsible for securing the door and may be held responsible for any loss or damage to university property resulting from failure to do so.

Special assignment of keys, where required (such as to contractors, etc.), may be authorized by the campus Facilities Services Director.

All keys issued remain the property of the university and shall be returned under the following conditions:

  • Upon transfer to another department or building.
  • Upon termination of employment.
  • Upon the request of the department chair or administrative head.
  • Upon being granted a leave of absence without pay for a period of 30 or more calendar days; however, staff members granted such leaves may retain their keys if they are authorized to have access to the building and/or office during the leave.

It is the responsibility of the appropriate department chair, dean or administrative head and building coordinator, to ensure that all keys are returned. All supervisors should alert their employees that the charge is $25 per key for keys lost or not returned.

Facilities Services personnel are the only authorized entity to duplicate keys and perform lock repair and replacement for any campus buildings. Facilities Services has allowed Information Technology Services to maintain the electronic locks.

A file copy of all facility keys for all facilities on the Montana State University-Northern campus will be retained at the Facilities Services Department.


  • Key issuances are authorized by the building coordinator.
  • Facilities Services personnel will duplicate building keys as requested by the building coordinator. Information Technology Services will create electronic keys.
  • Keys to cabinets, lockers, and drawers within buildings are not covered under provisions of this policy. The Facilities Services will acquire or duplicate such keys upon request, but the issue, control, and recovery of these keys are the responsibility of the director of the facility, normally the building coordinator or designee. A non-refundable charge of $2.50 will be made for duplication of these keys.
  • The types and number of keys issued will be limited to the minimum required by regular work assignments.
  • The permanent issuance of building master keys will be limited to those persons needing frequent access to most of the building, normally building coordinators, department chairs or higher. Multiple keys may be issued to those requiring access to several rooms throughout the entire building.
  • The loss or theft of any key is to be reported immediately to the individual's supervisor and to the building coordinator, who in turn will notify the Facilities Services by the most expeditious means followed by a written statement explaining the circumstances of the loss. The loss or theft of any electronic key is to be reported to Information Technology Services. This information may be pertinent to any subsequent investigations.
  • Lost keys turned into a department are to be forwarded immediately to the Facilities Services Department with an explanation of the circumstances under which the keys were found.
  • Applications for keys are made on a Key Requisition form. Key Requisition forms must be typed or printed with original signatures, and must be submitted to the Facilities Services Department. A separate form is used for each individual for whom keys are requested because the form is also used as a hand receipt for issue of a key to the individual. Key Requisition forms are available from the Physical Plant Department.
  • As standard procedure, Key Requisition forms will be forwarded to the Facilities Services Department.
  • Upon request each department will be provided with a list of individuals assigned keys to areas under its jurisdiction.
    Note: These lists will aid the department in identifying those keys to be returned by the staff having an ending date of appointment at the end of the semester.
  • Upon request by Physical Plant, each department must check and certify the accuracy of an inventory list of keys issued to department members.
  • Keys must be presented at the request of the Facilities Services Director or any law enforcement official in the performance of his/her duty. This is a necessary measure to further enhance physical security of the Montana State University-Northern campus.