by John M. Burkhart
Superintendent of Schools
Happy Thanksgiving! During the month of November we not only give thanks for all that we have but also for all that our Veterans have sacrificed for us. Mark your calendar as school is closed in honor of Veterans Day on November 11th and for Thanksgiving Vacation on November 27th, 28th and 29th.
On November 19th voters will be asked to approve an additional entrance to the school which will house an elevator and a handicapped bathroom. There are twenty-five steps and a landing between the first and second floors. There are ten steps and a landing between the first floor and the gymnasium. The narrow steps and the change in elevation prohibit travel between floors by a person in a wheelchair or a person who is on crutches. In our educational program, different courses are taught on various floors of the school. Our library and the distance learning room are both located on the second floor of the building.
The Federal Government Office of Civil Rights Compliance inspected the building and found that the school district needs to comply with the Americans With Disability Act. This law requires that school buildings must be accessible to all members of the public including people who are physically handicapped. The Andes School District must become handicapped accessible by December of 2003 or face losing all of the money given by the Federal Government. This amounts to a little over $100,000 per year.
The additional entrance will allow all persons access to the school without encountering a barrier. A person may enter the gymnasium on the ground floor or take the elevator to the first or second floor. Stairs are also provided for access to and from the first and second floors because egress must be provided for cescape from a fire or when the elevator does not work. In addition to the elevator, a lift will be installed to give access to the stage area. Also, a fire alarm system will be added to monitor the bus garage and technology classrooms.
Informational meetings will be held on Wednesday, November 13th at 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm. If you have questions about the project please attend one of the meetings or phone me at the school. I will be more than willing to answer your questions about this project. The voting will take place from noon to eight pm on November 19th in the technology room at 88 Delaware Avenue, which is the white building across the street from the main classroom building. So vote “yes” on the $500,000 bond issue and support your local school. Thank you! ~