Fairchild completes massive school project

More customers using voice evac, IP cameras
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The newly-renovated 643,000-square-foot Carroll High School here is not only one of the largest schools in the state—but was the largest project that Fairchild Communications Systems has undertaken in its 10-year history, according to company officials.

Fairchild, an integrator headquartered in Indianapolis that offers everything from fire and security to sound in the commercial, institutional and industrial verticals, won the $3.2 million contract to install systems ranging from the fire alarm system to the intercom system to the clock system during the $60 million renovation, said Bobby Ables, sales engineer and project manager in Fairchild’s Fort Wayne office.

He said the job took three-and-one-half years and is almost complete. “We’re pretty much finished except for the punch list,” Ables said in late October.

The fire alarm system installed was a Notifier NFS3030 with voice evacuation, Ables said.

Scott Hosford, Fairchild Fort Wayne branch manager, said that reflects a trend. “On the fire alarm side, more people are going with voice evacuation systems in the event of emergencies, instead of the old horn that goes off and lights and flashes,” he said.

Hosford also said that IP-based security cameras are “finally starting to take off. The price is coming down and making it more economical.”

The 263 IP cameras that Fairchild installed at the 2,000-student school are a notable feature, Ables said.

The large secondary school campus includes a new freshman academy that was formerly a middle school and now connects to the senior school.

The cameras include 34 trained on outside areas of the campus and two in each school hallway, Ables said.

“The kids don’t get away with much,” joked Ables, the father of two students at the school.

He said schools in the past would just have cameras overlooking entrances and exits and parking lots, so he said having so many at Carroll is “kind of unusual.”

However, Ables said, having cameras in all areas of the school enables school officials to have a record of incidents wherever they happen.

Also, he said, in the event of an emergency, police can see what’s going in the building via the cameras, which use Web-based software.