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Bellevue High School plans renovations to improve accessibility

Posted at 4:50 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 17:57:48-04

BELLEVUE, Ky. -- The front of Bellevue High School is a difficult place for people with disabilities to access. 

There's a ramp, but it can be a challenge. There's also a lift, but it's unreliable. 

Now school leaders are trying to change all that. Bellevue Independent Schools Superintendent Robb Smith said his goal is to have a new entry in place by the start of next school year.

"What seems more appropriate is to extend this stairway out to come up with a 'front porch,' that way students can go from the level right onto the first floor," Smith said.

The entrance isn't the only issue. To go from floor to floor, someone in a wheelchair must use an elevator. When it comes to fire drills, or a real emergency, they would have to use a manual ramp, but school officials acknowledged it's not ideal.

The district has two students who currently use wheelchairs. No matter how many students there are, things need to change now, Smith said.

"We want everyone to feel welcome and included," he said.

Given that it's a small public school, funding can be a challenge. The district is looking at the possibility of grants to fix the problem.

"When you're a public institution, lots of decisions are made for you, especially in terms of funding allocation," Smith said. "I hope a story like this gives a face for those who make those decisions."