Wednesday, June 3, 2009

School board making progress on Edmunds accessibility

Some amazing news out of the Burlington school board this week. The Infrastructure and Technology Committee of the board, as well as the Finance Committee, met on June 2 and tackled a proposal to address the accessibility challenges of Edmunds. (Read Seven Days report.)

The committees will likely put forward a motion at the June 9 full school board meeting with the following points...

1. The Burlington School District (BSD) will commit to making the four-building Edmunds complex (middle and elementary schools) fully accessible and ADA compliant. They will do this as part of a $6-8 million multi-phase plan to invest in these buildings over several years. This is a 50% reduction from the previous cost estimate.

2. BSD will undertake the first phase immediately, to install a five-stop elevator in the middle school and make improvements to at least one bathroom on each floor. The cost estimate for this phase is $1.6 million, with about one-third needed to overhaul the fire alarm system in all four buildings, one third to replace the electrical system in the middle school, and one third for the elevator. BSD has identified $1 million for this work from within its capital improvement budget and $300,000 from federal special education stimulus funding. They still need to raise $300,000 and will approach the City of Burlington for help. The construction would start and end the summer of 2011 and be ready to go for the 2011-12 school year, although they are open to a faster timetable.

Amazing progress! And we're not there yet.

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