Trustees concerned about ADA requirements for school restrooms |

Trustees concerned about ADA requirements for school restrooms

Christine Kuklica

The Churchill County School Board is concerned about meeting the requirements for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) bathrooms in all local schools as trustees discussed the situation Thursday evening at their second regularly scheduled meeting of October.

According to ADA guidelines public facilities should be accessible to people with disabilities. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Restrooms states handicap stalls must measure at least 60-by-56 inches. In doing so, the wheelchair will have enough space to make an 180-degree turn. Toilet bowls must be no higher than 19 inches off the floor. Sinks and counters must be no more than 34 inches high and should have clear space underneath for knee clearance. Knobs and other mechanism for the restrooms must be able to be operated with one hand.

“As we upgrade our schools with the current bond money, the restrooms and access to the buildings will be brought into the current requirements for ADA compliance,” said Superintendent Sandra Sheldon.

She said Paul Eskeldson, Parsons Commercial Technology group project manager, will meet with the city of Fallon building inspector to identify the projects in which the upgrades will be done.

At this time, Shedlon said every school with the exception of E.C. Best Elementary School has at least one ADA restroom.

Trustee Clay Hendrix defended the discussion on updating the schools with ADA requirements.

“We’re here as a school district and in terms of what we do is to be progressive and part of being progressive is to learn what is moving forward,” said Hendrix. “We’re teaching our kids what is moving forward and we teach children that are in need of ADA compliant facilities and need access to ADA compliant facilities. Here we are, we built a very nice structure right here for all of us, and we may or may not be subject to ADA but we spent the money that we thought we needed to bring the old high school to a certain standard.”

Hendrix said he thinks the district can make compliant facilities at the schools, which bring a great benefit to the community and they’re teaching the students to think progressive.

“People who are in wheelchairs or have disabilities matter just as much as the rest of us sitting here, and we need to treat them the same and we need to educate our community that they need to treat them the same,” Hendrix added. “Regardless of what the cost is, we need to repair the bathrooms and bring them up to ADA standards.”

The board agreed that the situation will be examined to see what requirements need to be met with each school, how much the updating will cost and the time frame for when things will be completed.

Other topics either discussed or approved include the following.

Discussed Board Committees. The trustees would like board committees to provide names of individuals who are on the committees, what they hold, and what committee they are on. Trustees would also like progress reports on what the committees are working on.

Approved a gym exploratory committee to consider construction and design. The committee members are Superintendent Dr. Sheldon, School Board President Ron Evans, Trustee Dr. Greg Koenig, Principal Kevin Lords, an athletic director, coach/P.E. teacher, and a member from the Master Plan Task Force.

Discussed elimination of regulations. The committee agreed that regulations and policies need to be looked over and reworked for easier use.

Approved designating a staff wall for the Old High School. Sheldon will bring to the board where it will be displayed, whose pictures will be put up, and who will take the photos.