State and Del Norte Schools partner to replace aging fire alarms

Seven schools will receive updated fire alarm systems over the next three years

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Sacramento, CA – Seven schools in Del Norte County with aging fire alarms are getting brand new, upgraded fire alarm systems, paid in part by the State of California.

Last year, Senator Mike McGuire met with a team from Del Norte County Schools, led by Superintendent Jeff Harris, and officials from the State Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) to kick off conversations about the need for state funding focused on critical upgrades needed at Del Norte County Schools. 

Working closely with Senator McGuire’s office and OPSC, Del Norte School administrators applied for and received approval for 60 percent of the funding for Fire Alarm Replacement Projects at numerous local schools. Since those original meetings, over $1 million in state funds will now be invested with Del Norte Schools and desperately needed fire alarm upgrades.

“We have made it a priority to deliver for Del Norte County, especially for our kids and public schools,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “These funds couldn’t come soon enough. The Fire Alarm Replacement dollars will help keep students safe by advancing desperately needed upgrades to several antiquated alarm systems. We’re grateful to have partnered with the Del Norte Schools team and we couldn’t be more thankful to the Office of Public School Construction for their support of these safety upgrades.

The first fire alarm replacement project was completed last summer and the district has received a check from the state to backfill 60 percent of the costs of that project ($304,159). The next two fire alarm systems will be replaced this summer at Smith River Elementary and Joe Hamilton Elementary. In the summer of 2020, Pine Grove Elementary and Redwood Elementary’s fire alarm systems will be replaced and in the summer of 2021, Margaret Keating Elementary and Sunset High School will both receive their upgraded alarm systems.

The total cost of all seven projects is over $1.8 million, which means the State of California will fund $1.08 million of the upgrades.

“Our top priority is always the safety of our amazing students and staff. We didn’t miss a beat on this safety project, we already put these dollars to work at one school site last summer and another two, Smith River and Joe Hamilton, will come on line in the weeks ahead,” DNUSD Superintendent Jeff Harris said. “We asked Senator McGuire to help us secure this funding last year, and he followed through on that commitment – we are incredibly thankful for his support.”