Thursday, October 20, 2005

KU: Allen Fieldhouse will be fire-ready

Games aren't expected to be disrupted


Kansas University and fire officials met Wednesday morning to ensure the fire safety of Allen Fieldhouse during the upcoming college basketball season.

"We have the same goal in mind, which is to have the safest possible facility for everybody who comes to Allen Fieldhouse and the Hall of Athletics," Lynn Bretz, a university spokeswoman, said after the 3 1/2-hour meeting with state and local fire marshals.

Allen Fieldhouse, which holds more than 16,000 fans, underwent renovations during the off-season that included more than $1 million in fire safety improvements. Construction of an adjoining Hall of Athletics on the building's east side will continue through January.

Maj. Rich Barr, Lawrence's fire marshal, referred questions to KU on Wednesday.

Bretz said officials on Wednesday reviewed the design and schedule for installing a "smoke evacuation system," as well as setting dates for pressure testing of the building's fire sprinkler system, final installation of a fire alarm control panel and setting occupancy limits for the media control room.

There's no reason to expect games will be disrupted, Bretz said. The men's team plays its first game, an exhibition, against Fort Hays State University on Nov. 9.

"We are working cooperatively," Bretz said. "Things will be resolved."

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