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KMUD considers convention center access solution that doesn’t violate fire codes

Kingsland Convention and Community Center

Kingsland Municipal Utility District President Lorean Sindelar (left) and KMUD General Manager Mary Ann Hefner discuss how to limit access to some parts of the Kingsland Convention and Community Center without violating fire codes. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Those overseeing the Kingsland Convention and Community Center are looking at how to safely restrict access to the rest of the center when a group only rents a portion of the facility. Kingsland Municipal Utility District staff and board members discussed possible options at a meeting Monday, June 28.

Any solution cannot violate fire safety codes.

The discussion came about after curious children at a June 27 party in the center’s small room gained access to other parts of the facility by simply opening a door separating two hallways.

On Monday, directors made a trip to the center, 3451 Rose Hill Drive, for a better look at the issue. They walked the facility, offered observations and suggestions, but, in the end, took no action. 

Center staff noted that installing doors with locks in the areas in question violates fire codes.

“We talked about locking the small hall off and it being self-contained,” said Randy Stumberg, an architect with MRP Group Senior Architect, which has been part of the facility’s recent renovations. “You can put latches on doors, and that doesn’t violate fire codes, but somebody would have to come in and manually activate them.”

The directors agreed to come back with ideas at a future meeting.

The board also took final acceptance of ownership of the convention and community center during the meeting. Directors had held out until San Saba Fire Safety Equipment personnel inspected and approved the facility’s sprinkler system, which it recently did.

jfierro@thepicayune.com