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West plans include handicap parking at circle drive
West Construction Update-aerial view of circle.png
Upland Design Group architect Allen Hill says the current plan is to develop handicap parking off the circle drive at West Elementary.

Upland Design Group architect Allen Hill gave a brief update on West Elementary construction during a recent committee meeting.

Hill reminded School Board members that during the planning period for the project, one key point was development of a handicap entrance at the front of the building. Additionally, the building plans showed an elevator to allow a person in a wheelchair that access due to the steepness of the area.

After collaborating with engineer Dave Allmon, who has worked with Warren County Schools on past projects, a plan to accommodate handicap parking is in the works.

“The plan currently is to develop handicap parking off the circle drive to the Clark Boulevard side of the portables and extending the sidewalk down,” said Hill. “The construction period would be roughly a year.”

Asked School Board member Bill Zechman, “How many spaces? Are we taking money for parking out of the current project?”

Director of Schools Bobby Cox said, “There would be somewhere between 15 to 20 parking places inside the circle so we would take the grass out and turn it into parking. We’d want to separate the bus traffic in the back and the car traffic in the front.” 

School Board member Teddy Jones reminded everyone the front entrance and elevator is in red on the PowerPoint slide meaning it’s still an alternate.

“That is still a big if, isn’t it,” asked Jones. “So, if that doesn’t happen…”

“Yes sir,” answered Hill.  “If that doesn’t happen, then the handicap accessibility isn’t any better than it is currently. It is an alternate so it will be done if there is enough funds to do so depending on budget.”

Hill mentioned another option is an extensive ramp system, but total costs were equivalent to installing an elevator. 

“If we change anything on the ramp system, it is going to have to be ADA complaint,” explained Cox. “As long as we are not changing anything, it’s good as is. We build something to it, we will have to change it and make it that way. If we are going to put in a ramp, I’d rather put in an elevator since the cost will be the same.”

According to Hill, the bid date opens Jan. 24, which also serves as the next School Board meeting date.