Kingsport Times News Friday, August 28, 2015


Fire marshal calls for safety study due to Volunteer High vocational building violations

November 28th, 2013 11:14 pm by Jeff Bobo

Fire marshal calls for safety study due to Volunteer High vocational building violations

CHURCH HILL — Volunteer High School’s vocational building recently received bad marks during a fire marshal inspection due to some walls and doors that were installed after the facility was originally constructed in 1980.

The Hawkins County Board of Education’s Building and Grounds Committee discussed the fire marshal’s findings during a Nov. 18 workshop.

Maintenance director Bill Shedden told the committee that walls and doors that have been added to the vocational facility don’t meet the original intent of the school design.

As a result of a recent inspection, the state fire marshal indicated that a licensed architect would have to conduct a safety analysis on the vocational building, Shedden said.

“(The study) is to see that the travel distance to exits, door swings, the number of exits, sprinklers coverage — all these type things meet code just as if you were building that building,” Shedden told the committee. “If they don’t, they would have to be brought up to date or remove the items that had been added that got it out of compliance.” 

Because the Nov. 18 meeting was a workshop, the committee couldn’t take any action. But the BOE is expected to bring the issue back up at an upcoming meeting to authorize school architect Don Solt to conduct the safety analysis.

The cost of the safety analysis is unknown.

Board member Debbie Shedden asked who had installed the additions at the vocational building that put it out of compliance.

“I honestly don’t know,” Bill Shedden replied. “They happened several years ago, even before Jim Dykes was principal. It wasn’t (architect designed) or from drawings sent to the fire marshal.” 

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