By Justin Jones, Staff Writer
The Stanly News & Press
Friday, January 18, 2013 —
With the presence of a handicapped student at North Stanly High School (NSHS), the addition of an elevator is seemingly only months away.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines that were passed in 1990 and have undergone revisions since changed the guidelines for all future structures and altered guidelines for existing buildings in regards to access and accommodations for the handicapped. NSHS had not been confronted with adopting to some of the guidelines until now.
“In order to comply with ADA requirements, the buidling needs to be retro-fitted to meet those ADA requirements,” Griffin said.
“Although elevators are costly up front, that will be more cost effective.”
The school’s options seemingly came down to building an access ramp or building the elevator.
According to Director of Maintenance Todd Bowers, the elevator is the only sensible choice.
“We haven’t in years past, but we do now, have a student there that is handicapped and not able to access all areas of the campus,” Bowers told facilites committee members Monday night.
“We went ahead and went out for a bid to give me some idea of what we’re looking at cost wise. His bid was $95,000.”
Bowers described the possible location for the elevator as being near the stairway on the side of the building near the mobile classrooms.
Griffin explained that the elevator would be placed in the hallway wing extension by North Stanly’s media center.
“We looked at the other side but there’s a lot of piping. The company and architect didn’t think that’s a good place to put it,” Bowers said.
The elevator location will assure that the student has access to the “B” building, which is currently only accessible by stairways.
Newly elected school board and facilities committee member Tracey Lowder said she thought that elevators were already required in schools.
“It’s not been an issue there because we haven’t had a full-time handicapped student. I think this was the first year the issue came up,” Bowers replied.
Griffin said that while the elevator will be placed for the needs of one student, putting in an elevator at this time will solve an issue that meets the need of its current and future students.
At the moment, Bowers had only gathered one bid price so that the school board could have a point of reference for budget numbers and the effect on the capital funds.
Once he has approval to gather more bids, Bowers said he would compile more bids to present to the school board.
“Well, I think we need to pursue it. We got a kid there who needs access. I think the ramps are out of question,” Facilities Committee member Mike Barbee said.
“We can bring that to the board for approval.”
“Drawings have been submitted and approved so it’s ready to go. Just waiting to see if it’s going to be funded,” Bowers said.
To submit story ideas, contact Justin Jones at email@example.com or (704) 982-2121 ext. 24.