While this action may create an inconvenience to the daily operation of the school
Smokey Barn News January 9, 2014, Springfield, Tenn.
Smokey Barn News, Thursday, January 9, 2014
Fire Marshal Closes Springfield Middle School Auditorium
Originally built in 1938 the Springfield Middle School auditorium has seen better days. If the walls could talk they would tell a tale of country music singers, plays, town meetings and much more. Now after about 70 years of service the auditorium is in need of major repairs. We don’t know how much the renovations will cost yet but it’s likely to be a tall sum since they will essentially lose any existing grandfather rights on codes. For one, the room has no water fire suppression and it will have to be installed.
Amongst other things, the room will need wiring, seating and wall repairs. The Robertson County Players have been using the auditorium for some time, so they will most likely use the auditorium at Springfield High School, at least temporarily.
According to Robertson County school officials, the Fire Marshal was doing their annual inspection and found that the auditorium was in need of too many repairs and had too many code issues to remain in use.
After looking at all the facts it was decided that for the safety of the students and faculty the auditorium should be closed until the repairs can be made. The auditorium has been sealed and presents no immediate danger to students or faculty but it will be a bit of an inconvenience.
The school uses the auditorium for many things such as their in school radio program and morning assemblies. Now all activities will need to be moved to the gymnasium until all the renovations have been completed. It is likely that the auditorium will not be available for the remainder of the school year. The rest of the school facility is within code guidelines, it’s just the auditorium that has the issues.
Like I said we are still waiting on an estimates on the cost of renovating the old room but it’s likely to be an expensive endeavor. In its day the auditorium was architecturally cutting edge and was considered a standard to follow but it has now fallen into disrepair and is in need of some major renovations.
According to Mike Davis, the director Of Schools, “Every effort will be made to bring the auditorium into compliance with current state fire codes”
One of the reasons it’s important to repair the facility, other than its historical legacy, is it’s still used by the community. It’s been a part of Springfield for many years and with a little love it can continue for future generations.
Below is the official press release provided by Robertson County Schools.
JANUARY 09, 2014
The Springfield Middle School auditorium has been closed by order of the State Fire Marshal’s Office due to several deficiencies identified during the annual inspection of the school. No other area of the school is impacted in any way by this action. The auditorium was the only area that the inspectors found to be out of compliance with the state fire codes.
While this action may create an inconvenience to the daily operation of the school, the principal has assured the Director of Schools that he will be able to relocate the activities conducted in the auditorium to the school’s gymnasium. This closure in no way presents any danger to the rest of the building or its occupants, which will continue to operate on a normal schedule.
Some of the concerns relayed to the Director of Schools in a phone call from the State Fire Marshal’s Office indicated structural and electrical deficiencies as well as ingress and egress to and from the auditorium. The Robertson County maintenance department will begin to address the issues identified by the Fire Marshal’s Office once we receive their official report.
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