New Milford to study how to make school offices ADA-compliant
NEW MILFORD — The Board of Education is expected to begin a study to determine how to bring the building that houses the schools’ central offices into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This week, the school board authorized spending up to $20,000 to create an ADA plan for the Lillis Building at 50 East St. The building is a multistoried former school and has been criticized for not having an elevator, especially with the school offices located on the second floor of the building.
“This gives us a chance to end that debate that’s been going on for a long time,” said board member Bob Coppola.
Though no ADA-related complaints have been filed against the school district, the accessibility issue was a popular argument for moving the schools’ central offices to the former John C. Pettibone School as part of Mayor David Gronbach’s plan to turn the empty building into a community center.
Bids for a study to make the Lillis building ADA-compliant were rejected in December, when the school board decided to move to Pettibone, along with several other town departments. But the school board backed out of the plan in February after changes were made to a memorandum of understanding between the school board and town.
Since central offices are staying in the Lillis building for now, and unspent money from this school year is available, the board decided to revisit plans for an ADA plan.
“We’ve all had discussions of finding out what it would cost us, and now it’s time,” board member Wendy Faulenbach said.
In November, the board received bids from two companies to do the work. KG&D Architects had a combined bid of about $14,000 and BSC Group’s bid was $33,000.
The board authorized school staff to see if KG&D Architects is still willing to offer its bid. The board approved a financial cushion in case the price has changed since November.
Faulenbach said it is good to have a professional look at the space and come up with a plan.
“We owe it to the community,” she said.