District Approves Lincoln Sprinkler System - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

District Approves Lincoln Sprinkler System

Updated: Aug 13, 2013 10:45 PM
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The Davenport Community School District is spending more than a quarter million dollars on a school it closed recently to save money.

The Davenport School Board approved a new fire sprinkler system for the former Lincoln School. The project will cost $288,000.

District officials said the expense is necessary in order to keep the school an asset in its neighborhood. It needs to install the sprinklers to meet fire codes so a Head Start preschool program can operate out of the building. Officials said installing the sprinkler system will also allow other preschool programs to be in the building.

Even though the school was previously an elementary school, the district did not need sprinklers for it to operate.

The school closed in May of 2012 to save an estimated $1.4 million for the district.

It was empty until the district brought in an after school program and a homeschool program.

District officials said the programs are important not only to the surrounding neighbors, but to the community as a whole.

"When you close a school, you change a neighborhood," School Board Member Patt Zamora said. "And we didn't want to do that. We wanted to keep Lincoln viable and keep it being used so it's still a hub for the neighborhood."

"One of the things we wanted to make sure of was that Lincoln is a community asset," Superintendent Dr. Arthur Tate said. "Especially a neighborhood asset. So we've been looking to see whatever goes in and uses that school is something that would go in and do exactly that - it will enhance the neighborhood."

School officials said many of the programs that will be operating out of Lincoln School will have to pay rent. The school board estimates that in the long run - the rent money will more than make up the cost of installing the sprinkler system.

The Lincoln sprinkler system is set to be installed throughout next week.

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