Improving Accessibility at Central High Among R-12 Building Work

Published 06/16 2014 08:03PM

Updated 06/16 2014 10:11PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- School may be out for summer, but the work is just beginning for the R-12 maintenance crews.

Workers are taking advantage of the empty hallways to make millions of dollars worth of repairs.

Springfield Public Schools is spending 3.5 million dollars this summer on building maintenance.

One of the 36 sites is Central High School, getting some needed accessibility upgrades.

"We do have a new student who has come in and will be attending Central in the IB program so we're making some accommodations there," SPS Director of Building Services Dave Bishop said.

The 115-year-old school meets basic ADA requirements, but Bishop said there's still room to improve.

"The building is compliant to a point, what we're doing is increasing the ease of access that's already in place," he said.

The upgrades will focus on making stairways and entrances easier to use.

Two automatic door buttons will be installed on exterior doors.

Another improvement is taking place inside, in the auditorium lobby.

"We'll install a lift on this particular staircase that will mount on the inside of the rail and you'll bring a wheelchair up to it sit in it and ride it up," he said.

"From this level this would be the only way to access the second level," he said.

Bishop said accessibility is high on the priority list for repairs and upgrades.

He believes this is money well spent.

"It just kicked off with one student, but this will actually benefit our public that comes in for performances and events. It's going to be helpful for everyone," he said.

Work for all the projects is expected to be done by August 1 or the start of school.

Bishop says 3.5 million dollars is about what they spend every summer on repairs across the district.

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