SHS fire code violations expected to be resolved by July

Shelton’s fire marshal said he estimates that the rest of the high school’s existing fire code violations will be resolved by late this summer.

The chairman of the building committee for this project, Don Sheehy, said he expects the once lengthy list of code violations will all have been resolved by July.

A state fire marshal’s 2012 inspection revealed that the high school had nearly 600 fire code violations at one point.

By spring 2017, city fire marshal James Tortora said the number of code violations had been reduced substantially already, and violations are on schedule to be resolved at his estimated time frame of late this summer.

Tortora said the main cause of the once extensive list of code violations was the school’s sprinkler system.

“I don’t have the list available to verify how many violations we have left, but, for instance, let’s say we have 150 violations left; once the automatic sprinkler system is installed, that would eliminate about 100 of them,” said Tortora. “The other 50 are most likely in-house items that may have already been done, but we have to sit down with the school’s maintenance person and see how far they’ve gotten.”

Neither Tortora or Sheehy are expecting any issues to arise in the process of resolving the code violations, but they acknowledged that other issues could be found during further inspections.

“It’s a construction project and anything can happen,” said Sheehy.

“Two floors already have the sprinkler system installed, the first and second, but have no water in them yet,” said Tortora. “They’re just waiting for water.”

The third floor’s sprinkler is about 50% complete at this time, according to Tortora. Work in the remainder of the third floor must be completed when the students are out of the building.

“April vacation’s coming up, which helps, because we can’t do certain areas until the students are on vacation, such as the gym, auditorium and media center, which is on the third floor,” said Tortora. “Our plan is to take care of what they can over April break.”

Tortora didn’t mention any specific plans for what is to be completed over the break, but said MJ Daly, the company contracted to do the sprinkler repairs, is on track with the schedule to have the sprinkler system put in.

“Myself and the building inspector are at the school almost every day to inspect, including Mondays, and we’re moving right along,” said Tortora. “Headmaster at the highs chool, Dr. Smith, has everything under control at the school, where if we have to work on a bank of rooms, she’ll move those classes somewhere else for the day or half of the day.”

With the battle to repair the school’s fire code violations lasting several years, Tortora said it’s a process that is a priority, but also a task that has many moving parts.

“The sooner we have it done the better, but it all depends on how smoothly everything goes. If pipe doesn’t get delivered on time or the classrooms can’t split or some places can’t be completed during the school year, it could end up in them having to be completed during the summer.”

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