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State Grant Expected to Fund ADA Upgrades at University of Saint Joseph

University of Saint Joseph. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

State Sen. Beth Bye has announced that a $400,000 grant from the state aid will be used make accessibility upgrades on the University of Saint Joseph campus.

Submitted

State Sen. Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) announced Friday that the State Bond Commission is expected to approve a $400,000 state grant to the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford to assist the college in making needed handicapped accessibility improvements on campus.

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 13, 2018, in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to vote on this and other state bonding requests.

“The University of Saint Joseph is nearly 100 years old, and not only is it used daily by 2,500 students, it’s also home to the Gengras Center School and the School for Young Children, and it is used by hundreds of members of the general public on a regular basis. These upgrades are needed to ensure safe and fair access to St. Joe’s facilities for a wide variety of students and the public,” Bye said. “I’m glad the Connecticut legislature is partnering with this private institution, like it does with so many other private organizations all across the state, to improve the quality of life for our residents.”

On March 20, Bye wrote to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is chairman of the State Bond Commission, asking him to consider releasing some state Department of Economic and Community Development Urban Act monies for the project.

Bye noted that the University commissioned an ADA Compliance and Evaluation Survey in 2008, and since then has completed several new building projects, but that more work needs to be done on campus to address accessibility issues for campus infrastructure that was built place prior to the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bye said University of Saint Joseph projects that have been identified as needing ADA upgrades include:

  • A wheelchair ramp and renovated entrance to Mercy Hall, which includes one of the University’s largest conference rooms, a popular location for community activities;
  • Accessible exterior and interior doors with automatic openers in multiple buildings;
  • Restroom renovations and lowered water fountains in multiple buildings;
  • Elevator and kitchen renovations in several residence halls;
  • Visual alarms in multiple buildings;
  • Directional signage for accessible entrances and facilities in multiple buildings;
  • Accessible spectator areas and assisted listening devices at several outdoor sporting areas;
  • Tapering of walkways and curb modifications throughout the campus; and
  • Designation of parking areas for increased accessible spaces and passenger loading zones.

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