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Norwin officials seek to make stadium more accessible

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Work to make the track at Knight Stadium accessible to people of all abilities will begin this spring.

Norwin officials began investigating ways to make the track accessible to people with disabilities in September, after a resident expressed concerns last year.

Currently, there is no way for a person who cannot use stairs to access the field or track at the stadium, said Walt Lehman, director of facilities and property. Lehman and Craig Collins, principal at Axis Architecture, have proposed enabling cars to drive down to the field and park in an accessible space.

“The only thing that does not achieve is direct access from the top of the bleachers down to the field,” Collins said. “In my mind, this might be a better scenario for a person who might want to use the track occasionally.”

None of the entrances to the stadium meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, Lehman said.

“We are able to get people down there,” Lehman said. “It's more for people who are here after hours. We can look to see if there's any room down there for expansion.”

Lehman said he wants to fit the current gate blocking entrance to a road leading to the field with a card reader that will allow access by a motor vehicle. The hill leading down to the stadium is too steep for a person using a wheelchair to navigate alone, he said.

If the school board approves the proposal, Norwin-area residents will be able to obtain a scannable identification card that will permit access to the field after hours.

In September, district officials began exploring options for the conversion. Bids to create a ramp came in at around $103,000, Collins said. Officials asked architects to consider eliminating retaining walls or relocating it to bring the cost down. Rough quotes showed the project still would cost about $80,000, far from the $50,000 price tag officials wanted.

Lehman said he expects the gate project to cost $20,000 and $25,000. Officials expect work to be completed this spring.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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