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Problems remain at Hillsborough County Center | News

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Problems remain at Hillsborough County Center

Tampa, Florida -- The Hillsborough County Government Center is almost ready to be fully functioning again after a fire sprinkler system leak.

A gasket on a valve broke Monday and caused flooding on the west side of the building from the third floor down.

On the second floor, the commissioners' offices had the most damage and on the first floor the Sobik's Sandwich shop and the communications offices had damage.

As of Thursday, restoration crews were still using fans to dry out the building and retiling ceilings in Sobik's. All three parking elevators were out of commission on Monday because of the leak, but the last one should be operating by Friday.

The first floor fire panel is still damaged. To remedy that, the county center reconfigured the fire panel on the 13th floor so that someone pulling an alarm on a lower floor would contact the 13th floor panel, which would then start an alarm and send a notification of where the emergency is in the center. Firefighters are there in case of an emergency this week.

"Our systems and alarms are designed to alert with an address or a location," said Assistant County Commissioner Tom Fass. "So the idea is that a person on the 13th floor will radio down to a person on the first floor to let them know the location. And then the whole noodling will alert and we will evacuate the entire building.

"We have five firefighters here to monitor those panels on both floors. This allows the sheriff's deputies and security here in the first floor to notify Fire Rescue. When they enter the building where they need to respond to. Because normally they can just look at the first floor panel and see where they need to go."

The fire sprinkler system and the alarms are working. The county said the entire building should be dried out by Monday.



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