By DON STINE
Asbury Park’s iconic Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre on the city’s boardwalk will remain open this season as work on installing fire sprinklers continues in the historic complex.
And while the landmark building, owned by boardwalk redeveloper Madison Marquette, is 85-years-old, it still needs to be up to state fire safety codes, officials said.
Fire Chief Kevin Keddy said the complex had to have sprinklers installed because of its public use under state fire prevention codes and it was agreed that the project would be done in phases.
“They are right on schedule and meeting their timetables,” he said.
Keddy said that the Paramount Theatre has been completely finished and that work in Convention Hall continues in the final phases.
“The Paramount has everything done as required and everything is in operating shape,” he said.
He said that events can still be held in Convention Hall as long as there are paid fire watch inspectors in the building.
“Shows will go on and people are being safely provided for by having the proper fire watches in place,” Keddy said.
City officials have agreed to allow Madison Marquette to install the sprinklers in four phases: phases one and two, which covered Paramount Theatre, are complete. Phase three work is now underway with an anticipated mid-summer completion date, according to Madison Marquette.
“And we anticipate completing phase four during the off season, in advance of our contractual deadline,” said the company’s boardwalk general manager Carrie Turner.
Feature photo: File shot from inside Convention Hall.