Raymond's Review

  • May Bond Update

    Posted by Abbey Lang on 5/9/2023 1:00:00 PM

    MN Dept. of Labor and Industry's (DLI) Building Plan Review Unit reviews construction plans and specifications for new, additions, and remodeled buildings against building code provisions related to fire and life safety. The MN DLI recently alerted us about a fire suppression issue discovered during a preliminary plan review for the bond project.  Building and Plan Review Unit lead, Ryan Rehn, provided that public buildings need to meet one of two requirements: either a building is divided into 14,500 square foot areas with firewalls, or a building is fully sprinkled. Dassel-Cokato was granted an exception to this rule in 2004 for the PAC construction and allowed to have a combination of the two systems. The state of MN has since stopped granting this building exception. 

    A combination of two fire suppression systems could allow a fire to begin in the non-sprinkled portion of a building (our current middle school) and grow to a size that overwhelms the firewall. It could then be large enough to overcome the sprinkler system within the high school and put the remainder of the building at risk. Therefore, large buildings must either have additional firewalls to slow the progression of a fire or be completely sprinkled to stop the fire from growing too large.

    This issue should have been identified in 2016 when the weight room was built.  Documents submitted to the state on behalf of the school district incorrectly listed the middle school as being sprinkled. The error was undiscovered until a few weeks ago when current plans were compared to those from 2016.

    School Board Chair Andy Engh and Vice-Chair, Dave Sangren have been actively involved, along with members of the SitelogIQ team, Mr. Rehn from MN DLI, and myself, in determining a solution for moving forward.  The MN Dept. of Labor and Industry has assured us that this will not delay the current construction project.


    Mark Raymond

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