Hi all — As I’m sure you’re all aware, the meeting last week of the School Board’s Infrastructure and Technology Committee was well-attended, with more than 60 people present to show their support for improved accessibility at the Edmunds school complex. Given the intense interest in this issue (and its relevance to the City as a whole), I thought that it would be appropriate to update you on the latest developments.
At the Board’s Finance Committee meeting tonight, Superintendent Jeanne Collins and Property Services Manager Chris Giard presented the results of a study by architect Colin Lindberg on how the Edmunds complex can be brought into compliance with the requirements of ADA. Although the study sketches out possible renovations to the entire complex, the primary focus of the report is on the installation and cost of a first phase — an elevator at the Edmunds Middle School that would provide access to each floor of A Building (the middle school). The bottom line for this one accessibility improvement — which includes necessary upgrades to the building’s electrical system, the fire alarm system for the entire complex, contingencies for unforeseen problems, and other costs — is $1.6 million.
The next step is to develop a timeline for the remainder of the work necessary to bring the entire complex up to ADA standards. The Administration has been asked to prepare a proposed timeline for review by the Finance Committee at its meeting on June 2. Once a timeline has been approved by the committee and then the Board, it will be presented to the state Accessibility Board to see if it is willing to approve a phased approach to improving accessibility at Edmunds.
At the same time, the Board and the Administration are exploring various funding alternatives for the first step of installing an elevator in A Building. Additional information about that will be available in June as well. I will keep you posted on further developments as they arise. In the interim, please let me know if you have any questions.
School Board Chair and Ward 5 School Board member
12 Catherine Street