Feb 26, 2013 9:46 PM by Lindsey Gordon (Helena)

Some Helena schools getting accessibility upgrades

Five Helena schools have contracts up for bid to make improvements in order to become compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

District officials knew they wanted to make changes to the older schools, so they applied for a Quality Schools Grant from the Montana Department of Commerce.

John Carter, Helena Public Schools support services director, said, "So then we were awarded the grant, then we knew we were going into the educational planning. So we thought, well, lets see how that goes and try to make sure that whatever we do is consistent."

The school would have made the ADA changes whether or not some of the schools were going to be repurposed, as indicated in the earlier recommendations.

The district chose schools that didn't have accessible ways to core services such as the library, gym, cafeteria and front office.

Central, Hawthorne, Bryant, Broadwater, Jefferson will all be updated.

Last week contractors came to tour a few of the schools as they prepare to bid for the job. The bulk of the work is expected to be done before and after school hours.

The district is working under a deadline; the construction has to be finished by June 30th.

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