Front Gate Relocation Project

Current Status:

January 10, 2021

Yesterday the new guard house and gate hardware on Wando Plantation Way were put into operation. The project team, consisting of DWPOA staff and community volunteers, are pleased with the overall results of the grand opening. The gate was opened at 8:00 am and during the remaining 16 hours of the day a total of 1,828 residents were processed through the bar code reader. Approximately 25 vehicles had decals that the new readers were unable to read which yielded a failure rate of 1.37% . (Note that Dunes West has over 10,000 active decals)

The property owners who experienced this failure, most of whom were very understanding, were advised to contact the DWPOA office on Monday morning to arrange for a replacement decal. The decals do age out over time and must be replaced on average every 4 years as they lose 50% if their reflective ability to be identified by the laser projected from the reader. So owners with decals over 5 years old might consider taking the proactive step of replacing their decal by also contacting the DWPOA office.

Other observations that might be helpful for the residents is that when the green light is flashing the gate is preparing to close. (we think it should be flashing red). Also many drivers were stopping before the decal passed the reader. It is highly recommended that everyone roll slowly past the decal reader which then allows the gate to open in plenty of time for you to clear the gate before it closes. Tail gating and speeding simply disrupt the system and can result in damaging the equipment and perhaps your vehicle. The number of visitors that were processed during the same 16 hour period were 452 not including delivery and golfing/club visitors which are verified to have a valid driver’s license. Overall this process worked well with the holdups being the typical lack of a driver’s license or failure of a property owner to input a pass into the ISN app.

The team would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this startup period as the AU guard staff is full trained and the hardware/software is optimized.

January 7, 2021

The new Guard House and associated equipment at the Wando Plantation Way entry has now been completed. Our plan is to begin operating from this new location this coming Saturday January 9 at 8:00am. We would ask that all residents proceed with caution in the interest of your safety as well as the Allied Universal staff as we make this transition to the new system. We have done extensive testing of the software and hardware but there can always be unforeseen events that occur that will need be dealt with during this initial startup. No changes are required to your guest lists that have already been inputted into the software. We plan to have all the necessary vendors and staff on standby to respond to any urgent issues. The DWPOA and AU would like thank you in advance for your patience.

December 16, 2020

In the recent From the Board communication as well as the information provided at the Annual Meeting we had hoped to go live at the new privacy gate by mid-December. As all can see we have now passed that target but remain committed to bringing this project to a close as soon as possible but with the expectation that it would be a smooth transition with minimal if any interruptions when it does begin operation. We have faced many challenges on this project, which I will document in a post audit of the project, but the current issues are satisfying the numerous requirements set out by the town to secure the final CO for the building and the surrounding area. Many of the requirements, and the town’s processes, have frankly come as a surprise to the project team based on their past experiences. We are using the same gate software provider but with new gates, cameras, barcode readers and some new software features which need to be fully tested to achieve this smooth transition. At this time it is difficult to predict the actual go live date as we are rapidly approaching Christmas which is also a major consideration for the team as to the timing. We will attempt to give the community at least one day’s notice before going live at the new gate.

In closing, the entire project team would greatly appreciate your cooperation in maintaining a slow speed as you pass by the work area (both entering and exiting) as many times in the past months it has presented major concerns for the safety of the all involved that are exposed as they complete their work.

Richard Slack

Project Steward for the DWPOA BOD

November 16, 2020

We are pleased to announce the construction of the gate house is expected to be complete by the end of November. We expect to be operational at that location by Mid-December. The landscaping will be installed after completion of the building.

Construction In progress; the widening of Wando Plantation Way has begun and the construction of the new Guard House has begun. Please use caution when traveling through the construction zone.

Anticipated Completion Date:  November 2020

Estimated & Budgeted Cost: $700,000


There is a multitude of factors that drove the decision to relocate the gate at the Dunes West Boulevard entrance, commonly referred to as “the front gate.” 

The current guard house structure is in dire need of repair. After a careful analysis, it was determined that there was no viable way to repair the structure while keeping the front gate in operation: 

  • Contractors working on the structure while vehicles are entering and exiting the gates is a safety and liability concern
  • Electricity would need to be turned off rendering the equipment inoperable
  • Guards working in a construction zone is a safety and liability concern

Similarly, closing the front gate during construction and routing all traffic through the Dunes West Highway 41 entrance, commonly referred to as “the back gate”, was not a viable alternative as the back gate is currently over capacity on any given date.

After careful consideration, it was determined that the current guard house would be considered beyond repair and its useful life. All assets in Dunes West have a prescribed useful life as dictated by the annual Reserve Study and each asset is assigned a replacement cost. The replacement of the guard house is part of a long term plan. (If you have questions about the annual Reserve Study, please see the financials section of the Resident FAQs or search the Documents section for “Reserve Study”)

The Dunes West Highway 41 entrance is not sufficiently capable of handling surge/peak traffic throughout the week. Road widening will occur at the back gate in 2021 to resolve this problem, but due to the unique characteristics of the back gate, the back gate will need to be removed from service for a period of 2 to 3 weeks. During this time, all traffic will be routed through the front gate. As it is equipped today, the front gate is not capable of serving this increased capacity and will cause significant traffic and safety issues as vehicles back up onto Dunes West Boulevard. In order to safely and efficiently remove the back gate from service temporarily next year, the front gate must have adequate stacking capacity. 

The Board recognizes that it is only a matter of time before the Town of Mt. Pleasant widens Dunes West Boulevard to four lanes. Should this occur while the current guard house is still in operation, the limited stacking capacity the current guard house provides would be virtually eliminated. For this reason, the new guard house will be located 450 feet further onto the property. This guarantees the safe operation of our gate systems with ample stacking capacity regardless of any road projects that may occur outside of the control of the DWPOA.

Bidding Process: 

As is the case with all major projects or contracts, the Dunes West Board of Directors and Management staff prepared an RFP and solicited multiple bid requests. The Board evaluated three submitted bids ranging in estimated costs of $700,000 to over $1,300,000. After an evaluation, interview and discussion period, it was determined that Eadies would be the chosen contractor. Considerations included:

  • Overall Cost
  • Previous work with the DWPOA
  • Schedule flexibility

Gate Hardware:

The Board considered two companies for the supply of the necessary gate hardware and systems. One company was eliminated based upon reputation and feedback from others. The remaining vendor went through an interview and discussion period, at the end of which it was determined that TEMS would be the chosen contractor. Considerations included:

  • Overall Cost
  • Previous work with the DWPOA
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Local proximity for rapid service
  • Licensed dealer for the brand of hardware we preferred.

Existing Guardhouse:

The existing guard house structure will remain as an aesthetic entrance feature to Dunes West. The gate hardware will be removed and the structure exterior will be reconditioned.

Environmental Impact:

Every effort was made to minimize the number to trees that had to be removed to accomplish the project and that removal has been completed. The effects of which will be mitigated by new additional landscaping in and around the new guard house area.

Questions & Suggestions:

As always, the board is open to questions and suggestions on this project. Feel free to email the board at