Elevator planned for Fairfield Middle School
The Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors is planning to add an elevator at Fairfield Middle School to make the building more compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Currently the building has a chairlift that carries people between the first and second floors, but it is wearing out and upkeep is expensive, partly because maintenance workers have to travel from out of state.
Tyler Riley of FEH Associates in Des Moines displayed two options for constructing an elevator near the fifth-grade entrance on the east side of the school, and asked for guidance on which one FEH should focus on.
The board decided the second option, which includes a vestibule, where fifth-graders can queue before or after school. Currently, while the weather is good, they wait outside, said FMS Associate Principal Matt Jones.
The elevator would have three stops: one at the ground level; one down to the first floor and one up to the second floor.
Riley predicted the project would cost $211,000, with 60 percent of that cost being the elevator itself.
The other option would cost about $119,000, also with 60 percent of the cost being the elevator. The option wouldn’t include a vestibule. On the first floor, the elevator would take up some space currently used as storage, but Riley said, the problem is the walls the first floor rooms do not line up with the walls of the second floor rooms.
Board member Jennifer Anderson was opposed to spending the extra money and building the larger project. She said if a decision were made to include the now segregated fifth-graders as regular middle school students, the vestibule wouldn’t be needed.
“Plan B is more versatile. It’s also $100,000 more. Is that versatility worth $100,000?” asked board member Bob Waugh.
The board voted to have FEH pursue the elevator and vestibule plan, with Anderson casting an opposing vote.
Riley said it will take about two to three months for FEH personnel to study the site and create the drawings. He would like the project to go to bid in January when contractors are “hungry” to line up work and prices are good.
For the complete article, see the Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.