SLC construction ramps up ADA compliancy

SLC construction ramps up ADA compliancy

The outside of the newly renovated Science and Learning Center (SLC) now features a pop-up cage that holds the makings of a new ramp that will be unveiled by January 2018. 

Whittier College is continuing with its ongoing structural changes — this time with the addition of a ramp that began construction at the end of October. “This work will improve pedestrian access to the SLC, Upper Quad, and Campus Center,” said Vice President for Finance and Administration James Dunkelman, in an email sent to STUDENT-L. The construction comes over a year after the official opening of the SLC back in September of 2016. 

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“It was not included in the original SLC design phase. We added this ramping project during the SLC construction phase,” said Dunkleman. “Because of the construction activities on the SLC structure, it was not feasible to construct the ramp prior to the SLC opening. There were too many other projects in process during the summer of 2017 to construct the ramp earlier this year.” The summer projects include the $1.3 million renovation of the Memorial Stadium that was concluded in August, as well ongoing renovations of the baseball field grandstands and press box. 

The ramp is part of the ongoing commitment to make Whittier College more compliant with ADA standards. “According to The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Whittier College is required to make its programs accessible to students with disabilities,” said Mariam McLeod, Interim Director of Student Disability Services. “The SLC ramp assists in reducing barriers for students with disabilities who need it to gain access to the school’s programs, courses, and/or activities.” Other recent improvements to campus to accomplish this include the ramp leading to the Amphitheatre parking lot, wheelchair seating at the baseball field, and the curb cuts on the corners of Philadelphia Street and Haverhill Road. 

In a President’s Message during the ASWC Senate’s weekly meetings, Senate President Bryceton Scurr gave a quick update regarding the ramp progress, stating, “The SLC ramp will be receiving LED lighting to match current lighting. The music building will receive a walkway next.” Construction of the ramp was also discussed by the Student Feedback Committee of the Senate. 

The ramp construction is projected to be completed in 10-12 weeks, taking construction all the way to January. Until then, students, faculty, and guests will still experience pathway blockages due to the construction, especially if trying to use the Villalobos walkway. The alternate path, as stated in the email sent by James Dunkelman, is to use the Founders Walk pathway to get to the Upper Quad from the Campus Center.