The Fort Worth Independent School District will not install $19.3 million of fire sprinklers with proceeds from a 2007 bond package because the systems could pose a hazard to students and property.
Superintendent Melody Johnson said the district decided against putting the sprinklers in existing schools because the water lines would have to be installed along walls or else they would hang low, where they would be accessible to students. Some lines also would be vulnerable to freezing, she said.
District officials said sprinklers would be installed in additions to eight campuses and as part of major renovations to several existing buildings.
Voters were promised additional fire-safety efforts when they passed the $593 million bond issue, but sprinklers were not specifically included in the plan.
An assessment earlier this year by fire officials and architects said installing the sprinklers at some schools would require replacement of major utility lines, and some campuses did not have space for pump rooms that hold water for the fire-suppression systems.
The district will upgrade or replace fire alarm systems at every school and install flashing strobe alarms at some campuses. The effort includes installing 2,820 smoke detectors and 2,829 fire alarm strobe lights.
Forth Worth ISD’s general obligation bonds are rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service.