Gov. amends fire code so colleges can use large spaces for classes

    Central Michigan University | Susan J. Demas

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will allow colleges and universities to convert large spaces for instruction without approval or inspection in order to ensure social distancing during classes. 

    Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-159 Wednesday, which amends the Michigan Administrative Code to allow for these spaces to be converted without inspection or approval from the Bureau of Fire Services.  

    “Our college students and educators have made tremendous sacrifices over the past four months to protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. When it comes to instruction in the fall, Michigan’s colleges and universities are working tirelessly to provide a safe environment for students and staff,” said Whitmer. “This order will make it easier for our colleges and universities to educate Michigan’s college students in the most safe and efficient way by ensuring everyone can maintain safe physical distancing.”  

    The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will issue further guidance governing temporary approval of the use of a space as an instructional facility. 

    Allison Donahue
    Allison Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.