"Universal Access" Strong, But Work Could Be Done


May 13, 2013


Photo: Steve Thurston

At the Sequoia Center, the only handicapped accessible entrance to the western building is from the first-floor elevator in the parking garage. The front doors are not accessible from the plaza outside. All exterior doors to the eastern building of the two-building campus are power-assisted.

Sydney Paul and I have put together a series of stories about universal access for the disabled community in Arlington and we got one comment that I did not post immediately because I wanted some time to check it out, to make sure it was true.

The comment was posted to our Universal Access story. (If you're looking for our other coverage, it's here.)

The comment says in part:

I am very disappointed that Arlington Public Schools moved several of their offices to a new bldg at Wasington & 50 that lacks power doors. The doors do not even have handicap switches. Not even a buzzer. The exterior and interior doors are very large and heavy.

It is true. 

According to Frank Bellavia, APS is negotiating with the landlord to include power-assist doors for easier handicapped accessibility. Bellavia is a spokesperson for Arlington Public Schools.

Elevators in the parking garage are accessible but only from the first floor. The elevators lead directly into the building.

The two-building campus at the intersection of Arlington and Washington boulevards houses many government offices. The eastern building's doors are all power-assisted. 

The schools recently consolidated the the Adult Education and the Parent Resources Center offices in the western building, which lacks power assist doors at the front entrance. The front door has a ramp leading to it.

Currently, people needing assistance at the front door need to wait for help from other visitors or need to wave through the windows at school staff who can come to the door to meet them. There is a buzzer but it does not connect to APS offices, Bellavia said.

According to county maps, FP Republic Sequoia LLC Oakland Republic 2006 LLC et al owns the Sequoia Center, at 2100 Washington Blvd. Avison Young is shown as a listing agent online.


Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA),


May 13, 2013

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