- Associated Press - Sunday, May 22, 2016

LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) - A change in state safety codes means the Thompson School District will have to replace the knobs on 1,140 doors at a cost of up to $600,000.

The state fire code was updated in 2015 to address a need for teachers to quickly lock their doors from inside their classrooms in the event of an emergency, the Reporter Herald (http://tinyurl.com/hvvptl9) reported

Schools have been able to use magnets over locking mechanisms, allowing doors to be easily opened throughout the day and still lock quickly by simply removing the magnet. But by Jan. 1, 2018, that fix will no longer be enough, and all doorknobs in all schools statewide must be changed. The doors are designed to create a barrier during a fire, and the magnets interfere with the seal that creates that barrier.

“It’s amazing that this little thing affects so much,” said Dan Maas, the Thompson Schools chief operations officer.

Matt Throop, district facilities director, said he will seek a Building Excellent Schools Today grant, which is money the state has available for schools from taxes on marijuana sales.

If the school board seeks a bond issue in November and voters agree, money earmarked for maintenance will help offset the cost of the new doorknobs.

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Information from: Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald, http://www.reporterherald.com/

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