By Becky Harvey
DUDLEY - Shepherd Hill High School, which was built nearly 40 years ago, though handicapped accessible, has athletic fields that are not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ) compliant. The issues were brought to the attention of the school department recently by the wheelchair-bound parent of a Shepherd High school student who, while attending a football game, had troubles accessing the field. Superintendent Sean Gilrein and Finance Director Bill Trafone have been quick to assess the issues of the non-compliance and tackle the job of correcting it as soon as possible. The first athletic field to be addressed will be the football field. Architect Roy Brown is currently working on plans to make corrections and adjustments that will bring the field up to code. Trafone stated that preliminary plans should be ready by the school committee’s next meeting, which is at Shepherd Hill High School at 6 p.m. on July 19th.
As it stands now, the football field has a few issues that need correction. The first, which was noted by Trafone, is that the pitch of the curb leading from the parking area adjacent to the field is too steep. This makes it more difficult for individuals in wheelchairs to easily move from the lot into the stadium area. Another issue with ground pitch is in front of the concession stand. The cement in front of it is pitched in order to facilitate drainage of rainwater and such, but it is steeper than the ADA regulations allow. Decreasing the pitch in both cases will not cause issues with drainage, but will improve accessibility. Also a problem at the concession stand is the height of the shelf when the windows are opened. It is too high for patrons in wheel chairs. The design needs to incorporate a lower access window for service. The last subject that Trafone touched upon was the fact that the current grandstand configuration doesn’t allow for wheelchair access. This will be addressed in the new plans being conceived by Brown.
Trafone stated that the adaptations would soon be underway. He also commented that the school committee has looked at the other schools in the district and due to the fact that they are all much newer than the high school, they are not facing any of the same issues.
Specific regulations regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 can be viewed and downloaded at: www.ada.gov
- Saturday, 14 July 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports