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Archive for Wednesday, October 14, 1992

KU SEEKS APPROVAL FOR FIRE EXIT PROJECT

October 14, 1992

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The Kansas Board of Regents will be asked Thursday by Kansas University officials to endorse a $1.9 million project to correct fire safety deficiencies at Allen Fieldhouse.

The home of the Jayhawks needs fire exit towers on the corners of the fieldhouse and an exit to KU's parking garage, said Allen Wiechert, KU director of facilities planning.

KU officials will ask regents at a meeting at Fort Hays State University for authority to ask the 1993 Legislature for the $1.9 million.

THE RENOVATION would enable spectators seated in upper levels of the 15,800-seat arena to exit directly into the towers' stairwells or the nearby parking garage.

No longer would patrons have to go down throught the fieldhouse's existing first-floor exits in case of emergency.

"When Allen Fieldhouse was constructed in 1955, it met all the fire safety codes at that time," Wiechert said. "And it has been operated according to the fire safety codes since then."

However, he said, as fire safety codes and regulations have become more stringent, it became impossible to keep the fieldhouse in compliance with modern codes.

A fire safety evaluation conducted by the state fire marshal in December 1991 identified several fire safety deficiencies.

Wiechert said fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems will be upgraded this year in the fieldhouse. Merchandise tables located in lobbies during events also will be relocated out of pedestrian traffic areas, he said.

KU CHANCELLOR Gene Budig also will ask regents to:

Grant KU approval to issue $400,000 in bonds to get work started on a $6.9 million bioscience research building at KU to be named in honor of the late Dolph Simons Sr., former editor and publisher of the Journal-World. Plans call for the West Campus building to be completed in 1994.

Accept a $50,000 grant from the federal government to begin planning an energy research center at KU. The project would cost an estimated $7 million, with $5 million coming from a federal grant and $2 million in private gifts. The building could be in place in five years, Wiechert said.

Permit KU to seek a federal grant for a $1.6 million addition to Dyche Hall. The addition would be used to store research samples suspended in preservative chemicals. The samples are currently located throughout Dyche, Wiechert said.

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