Local News

Sprinkler systems in 11 UNC dorms to cost $17M

Posted August 26, 2008 5:32 p.m. EDT
Updated August 26, 2008 8:47 p.m. EDT

— It's expected to cost the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about $17 million to outfit the remainder of its dormitories with sprinkler systems.

Two-thirds of the university's 33 dorms have had sprinkler systems installed since the university began the project in 1992.

Dr. Christopher Payne, vice chancellor for student affairs, said the plan is to have systems in the remaining 11 dorms in place by 2012.

"We have to design the sprinkler systems to fit the architecture for each one of the facilities," Payne said.

UNC finished installing sprinklers in three dorms this summer and is half way through the process in a fourth. Sprinklers are in common areas, and there are at least two in dorm rooms.

Family housing and fraternity and sorority houses on the UNC campus already have sprinklers.

The state required them following a 1996 fire at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on the UNC campus, in which five people were killed and three people injured.

All campuses within the University of North Carolina system aim to have sprinkler systems in dorms by 2012.

Right now, for example, four out 15 housing facilities at East Carolina University have sprinklers. Two more will have them by next week.

North Carolina Central University has six systems installed in eight dorms. The remaining two are in the process of being installed, an NCCU spokeswoman said.

North Carolina State University has sprinklers in each of its 20 dorms.