Construction on Duane A. Smith Auditorium on the Los Alamos High School campus was delayed earlier this year so workers could install a new sprinkler system among the wooden catwalks in the space above the ceiling. The black pipes shown above are part of that sprinkler system.
Sprinkler system update delays Duane Smith Auditorium construction

A detour in construction brought on by a sprinkler system update isn’t dampening the plan of a March 23 finish to the work being done at Duane A. Smith Auditorium on the campus of Los Alamos High School.

That was the update given by Herb McLean, coordinator of Bond and Construction for the Los Alamos School District, and Lisa Montoya, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, during this month’s Los Alamos School Board meeting.

The original plan called for construction, which began in July of last year, to push on with the sprinkler system being updated this summer after the school year was over.

“At the very beginning we were pushed to include this in the project and we knew it would impact the project’s schedule and cost,” said McLean. “I talked (the fire marshal) into letting us do the project as designed and then let us do the sprinklers over the summer, so it wouldn’t impact the project.”

But when the plans reached the state level McLean was informed the new sprinkler system would have to be installed first before a permit would be issued.

“So we went ahead and got it designed and put in, which added about six weeks to the total project,” McLean said.