Like most school systems, the Colorado Independent School District in Colorado City, Texas, has more needs than it does money to fulfill them.
So, when voters in the West Texas district in 2013 approved a $29.9 million bond issue for construction of a new school, district officials knew they would have to be efficient in spending taxpayers’ money. The district planned a new, larger building to house more than 700 students in grades K-8. It would replace two outdated elementary school buildings, each more than 65 years old.
In addition to modern amenities and educational features, the new building would feature a fire sprinkler system, something its predecessors lacked. “We didn’t have any other fire sprinkler system in the district,” said Supt. Reggy Spencer.
SFS Security Fire Systems Wins Bid with BlazeMaster CPVC
The district awarded the sprinkler design and installation contract to SFS Security Fire Systems of Coppell, Texas, after the firm submitted a bid for doing the work with BlazeMaster® Fire Sprinkler Systems. SFS Vice President Chris Alexander said every other fire protection firm bidding for the work submitted proposals for steel pipe.
Because BlazeMaster CPVC is less expensive to install than steel, SFS’s bid was 5 to 10 percent lower than the competition’s bids, Alexander said. However, the company still had to show school officials that BlazeMaster pipe and fittings were a better choice than steel for the new building. BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems are listed for light hazard occupancies, as defined by NFPA 13. That includes schools, student housing, hospitals, offices and nursing homes, among other applications.
BlazeMaster CPVC has been used in dozens of new construction and retrofit projects for school systems.
BlazeMaster CPVC Benefits School Systems
“We showed them BlazeMaster CPVC is listed for educational purposes and that it was an ideal choice for this project,” said Alexander, who added that SFS has an extensive and successful history with BlazeMaster Fire Protection Systems on other projects. Another reason the school district chose CPVC over metal was for its corrosion resistance, he said.
Ultimately, the 140,000-square foot, single-story school required 7,500 feet of 1-inch to 2-inch Tyco BlazeMaster CPVC pipe. The steel bar joist construction did not pose any real problems for sprinkler installation, Alexander said.
BlazeMaster CPVC is Adaptable and Easy to Install
In addition to being less expensive, BlazeMaster CPVC was faster and easier to install than steel, Alexander said, a feature that became important as designs were altered during the multi-year course of the project.
“The many design alterations throughout the construction made the use of BlazeMaster CPVC a more easily adaptable system than steel, which would have required refabbing in the field,” he said.
The hydraulics advantages of CPVC over steel and the subsequently simpler design calculations for flow also contributed to cost savings, Alexander said.
The Colorado Elementary and Middle School opened in August 2016, said Supt. Spencer. The students enjoy the modern features and Spencer rests easier knowing that the building and children are protected. “Everyone is glad we finally have fire protection now,” he said.