Dover middle school's alarm systems are failing regularly (software & hardware proplems) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Dover Middle Schools alarm systems are failing regularly


Democrat Staff Writer

DOVER  Equipment problems continue at the new $15.5 million Dover Middle School on Daley Drive, where software and hardware glitches have wreaked havoc on the schools heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

To make matters worse, the schools alarm systems are now failing on a regular basis. Over the past two weeks, police have responded to the new school 13 times for burglar and maintenance alarms, according to Police Chief William Fenniman.

Late Sunday evening, after a false alarm at 8 p.m. and another at 9:35 p.m., Police Lt. Joe McGivern said he anticipated the School Department would resolve the problem by Monday. In the meantime, police would continue to respond to the school, as they would any alarm call, he said.

But Assistant Superintendent Stephania Pearce said she was only made aware of the alarm problems on Tuesday.

In addition to the intrusion alarms, Pearce said the schools fire alarms are also failing. That system is programmed to notify the Police and Fire departments each morning it is active, but is not doing so.

"Im concerned," Pearce said. "Its a life safety issue. Children are at risk."

The subcontractor who installed the system, Simplex, is attempting to iron out the problems as soon as possible, Pearce added.

Since the school was completed in December, it has been plagued with heating and ventilation problems. On Jan. 31, a thawed heating coil burst, spilling water on the staff dining area and Brookside cafeteria. Ceiling and floor tiles will need to be replaced, and possibly some cafeteria tables, Superintendent Armand LaSelva said.

Temperature has varied greatly throughout the new building due to software problems, according to Maintenance Director Thom Forbes, who said the system will likely need a year to be ironed out.

The problems are covered under warranty for a year, Pearce said.

The schools HVAC system and plumbing were a sizable share of the total construction budget, clocking in at more than $2 million.

-- Homer Beanfang (, February 23, 2000

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