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District land sought to improve Brentwood stadium accessibility

Britney Goncar | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Construction proceeds at the stadium in Brentwood in June 2013 as football season draws closer.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Creating more ramps and parking spaces at Brentwood Borough's stadium that are accessible for people with disabilities after it undergoes an overhaul this year could require use of school-district property.

Borough Councilman Marty Vickless approached school board members at their past two meetings to get their thoughts on the idea of using district property in the rear corner of Brentwood Middle/High School as part of a pathway to access the stadium, which the district leases from the borough for various sporting activities.

Changes to the walkway are needed to comply with federal Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, he said.

The existing walkway with a steep decline that football players use at halftime “meets no codes,” Vickless told school board members last week.

At their June 10 agenda setting meeting, he proposed adding parking spaces for people with disabilities on the side of the school.

District officials said they had considered using the area for parking in the past, but sanitary-sewer issues kept them from turning the green space to cement, Superintendent Ronald Dufalla said.

Brentwood Park is in the process of undergoing an $8 million overhaul.

A groundbreaking for the project was held in May.

One option is to have a stairwell that will have a 5-foot landing after every two steps, Vickless said.

No matter what option is selected, the district will not be required to pay for it, he said.

“I think we'd be happy to look at anything, especially if we didn't have to pay for it,” school board Vice President David Schaap said.

Leaders need to be careful making changes to the plans, because the slope is very steep and could trigger problems, school board member Julia McCarthy said.

Another item still in the works for stadium improvements is bleacher upgrades, which likely will not be finalized for several months, officials said.

Vickless said one option is to have bucket seats in a portion of the stadium.

“We're looking at different ways to try and raise money,” said Vickless, noting there would an extra charge for people to purchase those seats.

School district officials recommended having signs in place to alert people during the upcoming football season of plans for the bleachers and what is going on with the park improvements. That is the plan, Vickless said.

The borough councilman said he will attend a school board meeting in August to provide leaders with an update so that officials can review plans for field use for the upcoming football season.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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