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NYT: Lawrence sprinkler ordinance is model for the nation


¢ Lawrence and Kansas University were lauded Friday by the [New York Times][1] for being ahead of the curve when it comes to requiring greek houses to have sprinkler systems."Some of our facilities are really large and structurally pretty sound, but others weren't quite that way," said Ann Eversole, a longtime administrator at the university who worked closely with fraternities and sororities when the ordinance was enacted.For local alumni-run housing corporations that owned the chapter houses and acted as their landlords, "it was a very responsible thing to do," said Dr. Eversole, who is now assistant vice provost. "But for some, it caused great difficulty," she said, noting that a handful of chapters had not survived the ordinance and had closed down.¢ Lawrence native Karole Armitage, a well-known dancer and choreographer, is featured in Sunday's [New York Times][2]. She has a new dance, "Gamelan Gardens," premiering._Ms. Armitage, now 53, after a long stretch in Europe, is once again a relative newcomer, a stranger to a large segment of local audiences. To those who remember or have read about the new era that her early choreography seemed to promise, however, she is a prodigal daughter.¢ Springfield, Mo., has taken a page from downtown shopping in Lawrence, adopting a "Downtown Dollars" program that's similar to a gift certificate program offered by Downtown Lawrence Inc. The [Springfield News-Leader][3] explains the story._The idea was borrowed from the downtown district of Lawrence, Kan., where a similar program sold $17,000 worth of gift certificates, said Brian Fogle, director of community development at Great Southern Bank."We thought it was such a good idea we wanted to try it here," Fogle said. [1]: [2]: [3]:


Emily Hadley 7 years, 4 months ago

Fraternity houses forced to close because they couldn't afford to pipe water into their houses? Strange.


Pywacket 7 years, 4 months ago

When are cities--Lawrence included--going to abandon the idiot mentality that it wouldn't be "fair" to require up-to-date fire ordinances in buildings predating the implementation of the ordinances? To wit, if that firetrap apartment building that was torched by a nutjob hadn't been grandfathered in and exempted from sprinkler ordinances, three priceless individuals might have been saved--and many others who were injured might have escaped unscathed.

While I can feel for the owners of older rental buildings regarding the monetary outlay that would be needed, people's lives are more important. Even if they were required to update fire safety little by little (get creative, city leaders--a percentage of each bldg per year until the entire bldg is covered) or even if the city could go the extra mile and help landlords with low-interest loans--whatever it would take would be worth it. At the very least (and, really, this isn't enough), these older bldgs should be made to conform to current fire code whenever they change ownership.

IMO, any building where people reside should have to conform to current fire code. No exceptions.


Sigmund 7 years, 4 months ago

I am surprised nobody jumped on the idea of Boog dollars!


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