Upgrades going up

Published 11:34 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SELMA — The School of Discovery will likely get an elevator this summer to bring it in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and accommodate a student in a wheelchair.

The Selma City School Board is expected to vote on the issue when it comes up Thursday at its regular meeting.

Ray Mattiews, director of operations and auxiliary services for the school system, explained stimulus money would partially pay for the improvement to the school as part of ADA compliance.

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“I’ve spoken to Ms. (Melvia) Holmes, who is the person whose budget is done with stimulus money,” said Matthiews, “and she believes with the stimulus (it) could cut up to 50 percent of the costs.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress in 1990 and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and governmental activities.

The school would fall under Title 3 of the law, preventing discrimination against any individual on the basis of disability when it comes to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, service, facilities and accommodations by any person who owns or leases a place of public accommodation.

“The ADA compliance does not just mean an elevator that is an issue,’ Matthiews said. “It is hardware; it is ramps and it’s handrails in strategic places.”

The project could cost the school system $215,000 to bring the School of Discovery into compliance, he said.