Paris Becomes First of 72 Schools in Greenville County to Complete
Fire-Lite Installation, as Part of $862 Million Renovation Project
The School District of Greenville County, South Carolina, is the largest public school system in South Carolina and the 63rd largest school system in the nation. The district is a consolidated, unified system formed in 1951 when 82 local school districts merged. The area served by the district covers 800 square miles and includes most of Greenville County and portions of Laurens and Spartanburg counties.
As one of the state’s premier school systems, it seemed fitting that Greenville
County would be chosen as the recipient of one of the state’s most ambitious building
initiatives: a five-year construction and renovation project that would encompass up to 72
schools in Greenville County. The full contract, which includes renovation and/or new
construction for the 72 schools that make up Greenville County, is slated for completion
in 2006 at a cost of approximately $862 million. Seventeen schools have already opened;
seventeen more schools are already in the construction process and several more are in
their commissioning phases.
This project is unique because it is a first for the state of South Carolina:
outsourcing a project for an entire group of schools. To begin this bold initiative, the
Greenville County Schools, in second quarter 2003, hired Institutional Resources (IR), a
local construction management consortium, to install the fire protection and security
technology that would be such an integral part of the overall project.
IR, which is in charge of managing the installation of the entire security systems,
including fire, intrusion, closed circuit surveillance, data cabling, and intercom, solicited
proposals from various local general contractors to choose the one that would handle the
Greenville County project.
Blue Ridge Security Systems, based in Anderson, SC, was the successful bidder
for the fire technology. Blue Ridge is a security systems integrator that provides alarm
monitoring services and designs, sells, leases, installs, and services electronic security
systems for individual commercial and mid- to high-end residential customers.
Blue Ridge Security proposed installing fire protection technology from Fire-Lite
Alarms in all of the schools. Fire-Lite, part of Honeywell’s (NYSE: HON) Fire Group
and the leading manufacturer of quality life safety systems, offers a complete line of
solutions for professional security equipment distributors, dealers, installers and members
of the fire alarm and life safety industries.
The plan developed by Blue Ridge called for the installation of fire-protection
equipment in the first school, Paris Elementary, in early 2004. The company could not
have selected a more unique school to kick off the project; in fact, for a number of
reasons, Paris Elementary, located in Taylors, South Carolina, boasts perhaps the most
interesting location of any school in the Palmetto state. The school is located in the midst
of Camp Sevier, a former army campground, which served as the training site for the
entire 30th Division of World War I fame, also known as the “Old Hickory Division.”
At the outbreak of World War I, Paris School was forced to move to the
intersection of Paris Mountain Road and Mountain Creek Road, vacating the site for the center of Camp Sevier. It remained there until the close of the war, after which it was
moved back to the present location.
With such a storied history, protecting the school from potential fire hazard took
on special significance. To ensure the optimal solution, Paris Elementary needed an
addressable fire alarm control panel capable of dialing to a central station. (Paris is
linked to the Greenville County School’s own central station facility, which, like the
Paris School, is located in Taylors.)
Ultimately, Blue Ridge chose to install the new Fire-Lite MS-9200UD
addressable fire alarm control panel. The MS-9200UD, which was installed in the
mechanical room on the school’s first floor, features advanced auto-programming
capabilities, reducing installation time and overall cost.
The newest intelligent addressable fire alarm control panel, the MS-9200UD
includes an integral remote upload/download communicator which allows for reporting
of all system activity to a remote monitoring location. Using a Windows®-based software
package, the installer can command the MS-9200UD to program itself in less than one
minute. The new panel also contains a built-in NAC Synchronization for easier user
interface and has a capacity of 198 addressable Fire-Lite devices on one loop.
David Dickard, a sales representative for Blue Ridge, highlighted a significant
reason for choosing Fire-Lite technology on this important project – and the MS-9200UD
“We like Fire-Lite technology because it is extremely easy to use and simple to
install,” he said. “What’s more, because it’s so compact, the MS-9200UD was a perfect
choice for a school of this size.”
Like the MS-9600, the new panel is unique in the addressable market due to the
strength of its smoke detector line, which includes Fire-Lite’s new addressable heat and
duct detectors and full line of monitor and control modules. Blue Ridge security
complemented the MS-9200UD with the following ancillary equipment:
• Three Model H355 Thermal Detectors - addressable thermal sensors that use a
state-of-the-art thermistor sensing circuit for fast response, designed to provide
• 60 Model SD355 Addressable Photoelectric Detectors - addressable, low-profile
plug-in smoke detectors that use a state-of-the-art photoelectric sensing chamber
with communications to provide open area protection.
• 32 Model BG12LX Pull Stations - dual-action (i.e., requires two motions to
activate the station) pull stations that include an addressable interface, mounted
inside, for Fire-Lite’s addressable MS-9200 and MS-9600 panels.
• One Model MMF301 Relay and Monitoring Module - a miniature Monitor
Module used to supervise a Class B (Style B) circuit. Its compact design allows
the MMF- 301 to be mounted in a single-gang box behind the device it is
• 35 Model FL-CRF300 Six-Relay Control Modules – modules that provide an
intelligent alarm system with six Form-C relays.
• 20 Model, FL-DS998 door hold-openers- devices designed to hold doors open in
Blue Ridge Security also installed horns and strobes from Fire-Lite’s sister
company, System Sensor, which is also part of Honeywell’s Fire Systems Group.
Although the complete fire protection and security installation took several months to
coordinate, the Fire-Lite and System Sensor equipment took just 1 ½ weeks for Blue
Ridge to install.
While it is still early to identify any tangible results, the Greenville County School
system has spoken highly of the Fire-Lite equipment thus far.
“We are very pleased with how the Fire-Lite equipment in the new Paris
Elementary School building has turned out,” said Bryan Morris, Executive Director of
Construction for Greenville County Schools. “We have every confidence that installation
in the rest of the schools will go smoothly, too.”
The Fire-Lite life safety system has been operating successfully since January
2004 and school officials are pleased that they can rest assured, knowing that their new
building is fully-equipped with the latest in life safety technology.
“It’s a tremendous relief to know that our staff and students are safely protected,
and it allows us to better focus on our primary goal of striving for each child to learn in
a happy, structured environment,” said Sue Anne Link, Principal at Paris Elementary