Maybe Allen Fieldhouse won't require those fire escape towers, after all.
Kansas University athletic director Bob Frederick told the KUAC board Friday that two towers on the south end of the Jayhawks' basketball facility and one on the north end might not be needed to bring the 38-year-old building up to code.
"We'll need to make some modification to the building," Frederick said, "but it may not be fire towers. We've hired an architectural firm and they've hired a consultant and we may not have to have fire towers."
Frederick said he expected a report from the architects in about 60 days.
Frederick met with Lawrence fire chief Jim McSwain earlier Friday and reaffirmed the athletic department's commitment to providing a safer arena on game nights.
THAT INCLUDES monitoring the size of the crowd. Often KU sells extra general admission tickets when it doesn't expect all 7,000 student season-ticket holders to show up.
Sometimes, however, KU officials have miscalculated and oversold the arena.
"We want to make sure we don't overfill Allen Fieldhouse which we've been guilty of in the past," Frederick said. "We're going to meet next week and see if we can get a handle on it."
Meanwhile, a sprinkler system scheduled to be installed in time for the 1993-94 basketball season won't be because, Frederick said, of a "problem with water pressure on campus. Until it's resolved we won't have a sprinkler system."
Also unresolved is the Office of Civil Rights ongoing investigation of a Title IX complaint filed against the athletic department in December of 1992.
Betsy Stephenson, the department's senior woman administrator, has been in charge of KU's response to the OCR investigation.
"INITIALLY, WE were told we would hear something in May," she told the board. "I was told informally that we may not have our response for years. It's extremely frustrating, but it hasn't deterred our efforts to make significant improvements."
In other business ...
-- Frederick said he hoped construction of Phase III of the Parrott Complex expansion project would begin on Oct. 1. Phase III includes coaches and administrators offices and the student support services area.
-- Ticket manager Bernie Kish reported season football ticket sales will be around 20,000. "We're a little bit disappointed," Kish said. "We had hoped for around 25,000."
-- Sharon Bass, a professor of journalism, was re-elected board chair.
-- Williams Fund director John Hadl reported contributions are running ahead of the record-setting pace of 1991-92 when the Fund reaped $2,937,425. In '92-93, that figure dipped to $2,530,273.