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Campus-wide fire alarm project underway

A six million dollar budget has been set aside for a campus-wide fire alarm upgrade project, to ensure Queens College meets the safety requirements outlined by the current New York City building and fire codes.

Fire drills share a love-hate relationship with students and faculty; students love them because it gives them an opportunity to miss a few minutes of class or they get dismissed early, whereas teachers hate them for exactly those reasons. The beginning of October saw many fire drills taking place all over campus.

With safety in mind, the CUNY Board of Trustees put into effect the Campus-Wide Fire Alarm Project: Phase 1 on June 25.

The project began because the fire alarm systems at Klapper Hall, New Science Building, and the Music Building were not functional with the current New York City building and fire codes.

“It’s good that the board of trustees said ‘okay we got some money let’s start doing it now,’” Sidney Grimes, administrator of campus plant operations and construction services said. “So before you know it, we will be done with this initial stage and all the systems will be upgraded.”

The project was brought to CUNY while considering its costly price.

The board of trustees authorized the executive director to execute a purchase order for the services to design, purchase and install fire alarm systems in these three buildings including the Central Monitoring Station at QC.

QC has roughly 32 buildings and 19 fire alarm boxes on the campus. All of the fire alarm systems are connected to a central system in which buildings and grounds can observe the fire alarms of each building on campus.

The total cost of the purchases necessary to upgrade the fire systems will be chargeable to the State Capital Construction Fund and are not to exceed $6 million.

“Codes change every day because the codes are changing [so] a lot of the systems that are antiquated have to be upgraded, a lot of the components for the systems can’t be bought anymore,” Grimes said.

The fire alarms were installed when the buildings were constructed. They were modified around 1994 and 1995. If the codes change, then the college will have to modify the systems once again.

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