Zorn applauds appeal decision on local press box issue

LANSING, Mich. — The Madison School District in Adrian on Wednesday won its appeal to the Michigan Construction Code Commission regarding whether its new approved stadium press box needs to be heated as an “occupied” space.

“I’m happy with the decision so that Madison schools can move on with this important improvement project for its taxpayers and student athletes,” said Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida. “Our schools are the backbone of our communities, and I’m glad the construction code commissioners recognized the value they provide. It is unfortunate for the school and the contractors that they lost five weeks of building season, but I am looking forward to sitting in the new stands soon and watching a game at Madison’s improved facilities.”

The school district is putting in bleachers in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and building a new press box and team room near the football field and track. However, state building inspectors had initially interpreted the mechanical code to say that the press box would be an “occupied space” and would need permanent heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68 degrees.

By winning its appeal, the district can now proceed with the project without the additional costs.

In response to the initial ruling, Zorn sponsored Senate Bill 294, which would amend Michigan’s construction code to clarify that interior spaces, such as press boxes, that are built as viewing areas for outdoor sporting activities are exempt from the permanent heating requirements.

“I am still working on finalizing this commonsense reform to ensure that no other school in Michigan has to deal with this type of bureaucratic delay,” Zorn said.