Earlier this year, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School was asked by the state to install an elevator to provide ease of access to their outdoor stadium.
This would allow individuals who find it difficult or cannot use the stadium’s stairs to be able to easily reach the top of the stadium’s stands, which are almost 11 ½ feet high. Before committing to spending a large portion of their budget on a costly elevator, Whitman-Hansen reached out to the EZ-ACCESS team to see if there was a creative solution that would better suit the school’s needs, all while taking their budget into consideration.
Below we walk you through the location’s access needs and what we were able to design for the property.
The Location Need
This high school needed a wheelchair accessible entrance and exit for their stadium so that students, faculty, parents, and fans of all abilities could easily access the stands to cheer on their team. The state’s initial request to install an elevator was taken into consideration, but there were a few issues identified that ultimately changed the course of the project.
Issues with an Elevator System
When considering the elevator as a primary avenue for accessible entry into the stands, the following concerns were brought to the table:
- Installing an elevator is costly
- The single elevator would only allow one person to travel up and down at a time, which posed a concern due to the volume of traffic at the stadium
- Since it is a motorized, electronic system, it runs the risk of failing and needing potentially expensive repairs
- Most elevators require an expensive continuous maintenance plan in order to keep them functioning efficiently
After comparing the benefits of an elevator to those of a ramp system, the school decided to install a 137-foot ramp system to provide access to the top of the stadium. The ramp system was a much more practical, budget-friendly option, that allows the school to not have to worry about service issues or the maintenance expenses that often plague elevators.
Whitman-Hansen chose EZ-ACCESS specifically because our all-aluminum ramp system could be configured to fit the allowable space, could offer code compliant access, and could be used year-round in any type of weather, withstand a high volume of traffic, and involve little to no maintenance.
TITAN™ Code Compliant Modular Access System Configuration
Our team utilized our commercial-grade TITAN ramps and platforms, along with a few other important components to construct this massive project.
The system features two switchbacks, which allows it to only run the length of the bleachers and perfectly fit in the space right behind the stands. In addition, the ramp system includes vertical picket rails for safety, as well as handrails and a lower child rail to help ensure users maintain stability as they traverse each section.
Due to the height of the system, bracing was used above the 36-inch rise mark. Bracing with reinforcement began at the 72-inch rise mark to provide additional stability. With a rise of 137 inches, we installed a total of 137 feet of ramping and incorporated resting platforms after every 30 feet to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
This project is a great model for other stadiums across the nation because it clearly demonstrates how the benefits of an aluminum ramp system far outweigh the minimal benefits an elevator can provide.
If you’re thinking about installing a ramp system in your school district, give us a call today!
When you choose EZ-ACCESS, you get to work with our engineers and school accessibility experts to ensure a dimensionally accurate, ideally configured, cost-effective solution is delivered in a timely manner to your school. We are your trusted partner in access.