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Pewaukee High School Expansion Means Greater Fire Safety Presence

The Pewaukee High School is undergoing major renovations, which in turn means extended fire protection in the form of a fire sprinkler system.

The high school is converting existing rooms so that they can serve different purposes than that which they were originally intended — essentially creating entirely new spaces — as well as constructing new rooms. According to the fire sprinkler project manager, the old gymnasium is to become a new auditorium, making that room four times larger. The old auditorium will be a band/choral room, the existing band room will be a computer lab, and a new gymnasium and a number of classrooms were added. This is truly a case of incorporating old and new.

Due to the scale of expansion, under current Pewaukee threshold or local code, the entire high school campus is required to be fully protected with a fire sprinkler system. Prior to the expansion, only certain portions of the school had been equipped with fire sprinkler protection.

"Since the pipe could not be hung from some of the existing lightweight structure, we had to slightly modify our routing to hang the piping on concrete beams above the drop-ceiling.”

”The school was partially sprinklered because of past expansions from the existing building that was built in the 1960s. The school district and community are very proactive in terms of having the highest level of safety for the students, so with the expansion there was provision for full sprinkler protection,” states Pewaukee Fire Chief Kevin Bierce.

The fire sprinkler project manager notes that the project consists of 1,400 sprinklers with 400 currently existing.

“This is a huge project, yet we had been able to work without a problem while school was in session. We utilized school breaks to retrofit areas that would have been too difficult while students were in classes. The only challenges came with routing some of the piping through existing drop-ceilings. Since the pipe could not be hung from some of the existing lightweight structure, we had to slightly modify our routing to hang the piping on concrete beams above the drop-ceiling,” says the fire sprinkler project manager.

The project, which began during the summer in 2011, is projected to be complete this summer while school is not in session.

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