Zorn’s high school press box bill sent to governor

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate has enrolled Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to clearly state that football stadium press boxes, concession stands and ticket booths do not need to be heated as “occupied” spaces. The bill now heads to the governor.

“I’m happy that the Madison School District in Adrian was able to move on with an important improvement project for its student athletes without further delays or costs,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Hudson Schools are going through the same situation now, and it doesn’t make any sense to have our schools waste valuable time and money on a burdensome appeals process. My bill is a commonsense reform to ensure that no other school in Michigan has to deal with this type of bureaucratic quagmire.”

Last summer, Madison School District was putting in bleachers in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and building a new press box facility 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.

In July, the district won its appeal to the Michigan Construction Code Commission, allowing it to 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. The bill would also exempt ticket booths and concession stands from the heating requirement.

“I hope the governor will sign the bill and ensure local school dollars are not wasted,” Zorn said.