9/21/15 School board approves use of bond money to make Williams High School handicapped accessible

School board approves use of bond money to make Williams High School handicapped accessible
The Times-News 9/21/15  
Reprinted with permission.


   The Alamance-Burlington Board of Education voted to use $40,000 in bond money to make Williams High School handicapped accessible.

   “It was a parent of a student there who brought it to our attention that it was very difficult for someone with a handicap to enter Walter Williams High School,” Todd Thorpe, assistant superintendent with the Alamance-Burlington School System, said at the board’s September work session. “The lift is on the back side of the gym and probably met (the Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements when it was installed, but today’s standards — it does not meet the standard.”

   The board will have to ask the county commissioners to release bond money to install a new wheelchair lift, which will cost about $21,000 on its own, and handicapped-accessible parking at the back door of the gym and a new sidewalk. The lift will be usable also in a standing position for those with canes or walkers, Thorpe said.

   There is a ramp on the other side of the building, Thorpe said, but it also was built to outdated standards, and it’s is so steep it would be “virtually impossible” for a wheelchair to make it up, Thorpe said.

   The request should go the commissioners today so the project can be finished before basketball season.