Solutions for College & University Facilities


Your campus buildings represent a considerable investment. From historical to new construction, these facilities serve a variety of purposes while always having a common characteristic—their heavy use. And no single part of the building gets used more than the doors. You need doors and entrances designed for characteristic beauty and for resilience. You need ones that are maintenance-free over years of use. You need doors engineered for lasting value. You need Special-Lite.

Variety of Purpose, Variety of Solutions

Consider the variety of purposes that your campus buildings serve. Some are designed for student living and others for student life. You have athletic arenas, activity centers, and administration facilities. There are offices and classrooms, lecture halls and laboratories. And that’s just the beginning. Through these buildings move students, faculty, staff, and visitors—each of whom move about with their own particular purposes in mind.

Likewise, door and entrance solutions must offer variety—variety of function as well as appearance.

Monumental Doors

These doors, also known as aluminum stile and rail doors, are the perfect complement to our aluminum framed entrances which can include transoms, sidelites, and more. Monumental doors are always distinctive and allow for plenty of natural daylight. Special-Lite monumental doors, including our SL-14 and SL-15 models, are available in standard and optional anodized finishes, painted finishes, and even our exclusive Wood expressions woodgrain finishes.


These doors offer the distinction of an aluminum entrance while providing a veritable canvas for custom lites and endless choices of hardware. They are also ideal companions to a custom, aluminum-framed entrance. The Special-Lite SL-16 is designed for high-traffic scenarios and will deliver lasting beauty for years.


When endless traffic and even some abuse can occur, look to the original school doors from Special-Lite. These doors offer numerous finish colors but the same robust construction of an aluminum chassis, a foam-filled core, and dent-, rot-, and scratch-resistant FRP (fiber reinforced polymer) skins. The SL-17, SL-18, SL-19, SL-19-1, and SL-20 are well suited to dormitories, student unions, athletic and sports venues, delivery entrances, and physical plant and administration buildings.


Some environments either are, or have the potential to be, wet. Think restrooms, shower areas, and aquatic centers, for example. Our fiberglass doors and frames are impervious to water and corrosive agents. They will never rust or rot and are available in several finish textures and colors. Choose the AF-100, AF-200, AF-217, AF-219-1, or AF-220 for your challenging environments.


Fire-rated doors are required by building codes in particular locations, especially along egress pathways. Special-Lite fire doors are rated up to 90 minutes and are extensively tested to applicable standards by third-party agencies.


Some environments either are or have the potential to be, wet. Think restrooms, shower areas, and aquatic centers, for example. Our fiberglass doors and frames are impervious to water as well as corrosive agents. They will never rust or rot and are available in several finish textures and colors. Choose the AF-100, AF-200, AF-217, AF-219-1, or AF-220 for your challenging environments.


Beyond typical doors and entrances, Special-Lite also delivers Type II interior aluminum framing systems designed for glass walls, office fronts, conference rooms, and related interior design and space utilization. Our Omega system is designed to put a finished look to rough openings. LiteSpace offers minimal profiles and is designed for finished openings. Each is flexible in configuration and can accommodate a variety of sliding or swinging doors including our own SLI door models.

The Look You Want

The door and entrance system can set the tone for a building or an office. These aesthetic factors are as varied as the purpose of the building or the particular space. Some factors to consider:

  • the overall design of the building
  • the historical nature (if any) of the building
  • the architect’s vision for the space
  • the needs of the occupants
  • the overall interior design

With Special-Lite, you always get the aesthetics you want. Every order is made-to-order—customized to your particular need. You can choose between aluminum or fiberglass framing, available in anodized (aluminum) or painted colors. Doors come with smooth faces or with pebblegrain or sandstone texture. We also have various woodgrain finishes available on the doors and aluminum framing.

Custom lite kits enable you to further refine the opening aesthetics. And all of our doors are available with the widest array of hardware or electronic accessories.

We like to say: “Every opening is unique; as is every door or entrance system we produce.”

Now you know why.

Energy & Thermal Efficiency

We know that openings can be responsible for a good deal of energy loss. Along these lines, doors can be constructed for better energy efficiency and tested to verify such efficiency.

Related characteristics of the door or entrance include U-factor and air leakage.

U-factor is the accepted measure of thermal performance. It expresses the rate of heat loss or heat gain where lower numbers equal better thermal efficiency. Energy standards and building codes call for certain performance levels. In each case, Special-Lite doors easily meet these requirements due to our engineered approach and proven product construction.

The same is true for air leakage, which is the unintentional or accidental introduction of outside air into a building. Typically through cracks in the building envelope and through the use of doors for passage.

Even Special-Lite monumental doors, with plenty of glass, can display excellent thermal performance.

Resilience & Longevity

When you build on your college or university campus, you intend it to last, perhaps for generations. That’s also the way we engineer and manufacture our doors and entrance systems. Our products are backed by a 10-year warranty but that does not begin to describe their lifecycle.

We’ve been manufacturing doors for educational institutions since the 1970s. Many are still in place, and many have outlasted the buildings they served. Here is just one related testimonial:

“Before retiring and opening my own business, I had worked for many years as a locksmith in the Kayenta Unified School District (Navajo County, AZ). This district is part of the Navajo Nation and located in the heart of beautiful Monument Valley National Park. The beauty is offset, however, by an ever-present wind and blowing sand.

In 2006, I contacted my Special-Lite Territory Sales Manager about a problematic hinge on one of our Special-Lite doors. The door had been serving us well for 15-20 years.

After exchanging initial greetings, I took her on a tour of our facilities highlighted by about 65 Special-Lite doors. I was proud to explain to her that even the problem door still looked great after all those years of service. And all doors still had the original hardware on them!

In fact, that original Special-Lite door installation was the catalyst for all of our door purchases that followed. Needless to say, I had found a door that held up to our students and our windy environment and looked great!

It’s Probably No surprise then, that I continue to sell Special-Lite doors today.”

Kendrick Louie
Gateway Lock & Safe, Cortez, CO

See Why Special-Lite is the Premier Door and Entryway Solution

Download this case study to get a campus tour of Wheaton College, and see how they improve their campus facilities with Special-Lite products.