April 14, 2005

SIUC will upgrade fire alarm system in University Hall

by Pete Rosenbery

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today (April 14) approved replacing the existing electrical and fire alarm systems in the University Hall housing complex in Carbondale.

The University expects the project to cost $1.65 million. Work will begin this summer with renovation complete when students arrive in August to start the 2005-2006 school year, said Philip S. Gatton, director of SIUC’s Plant and Service Operations.

The University purchased the four-story brick building at 1101 S. Wall St. in 2004. Renovation work on the once privately owned residence hall began last summer. The fire alarm and detection system is original to the 77,067-square-foot facility, which was built in 1965. University Hall is just east of the Brush Towers high-rise residence halls. The facility provides housing for about 300 students.

SIUC plans to add additional electrical to meet the power needs of current students, and will also install breakers in each of the 250 rooms, Gatton said.

Project specifications call for replacing existing pull-station alarms and battery operated smoke detectors with a comprehensive addressable fire alarm system, which pinpoints the location of smoke detectors sounding alerts. Workers will install connected detectors in each room.

The fire alarm system will be wired to signal an alarm in the operations center at the physical plant, Gatton said.

SIUC Housing Operation Funds will pay for the project. The Illinois Board of Higher Education must also approve the project before funds are committed to the project.

Maintaining campus buildings is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.