Tanks gets handicap-accessible ramp

Published 10:03 am Friday, August 19, 2011

District also welcoming five new teachers

Beginning this year, access to the stands at Tanks Memorial Stadium won’t be limited to those who can climb the stairs.

A handicapped-accessible ramp has been installed at the field house. Before this year, wheelchair-bound fans had to sit along the sidelines.

“That wasn’t always the safest situation in the world because players could be pushed out of bounds,” Superintendent Dean Nance said. “It’s just going to be much easier for everyone who would like to climb less of an incline to get into seats at Tanks Memorial Stadium.”

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The stadium will also have a row reserved for people in wheelchairs and anyone accompanying them, Nance said.

Nance said it has been the district’s goal for years to make the stadium handicapped accessible.

The stadium is also getting a new roof, Nance said.

The Ironton Board of Education has also recently voted to allow an outside group to raise money and put turf on the football field.

“The project is a go when the group raises the money,” Nance said.

Nance said the total cost of the project, dubbed the Ironton Field Turf Committee, has not been determined. Once the group raises about $600,000 it will start “shopping” for the turf and then determine if it has to raise more, Nance said. Raising the money may take a couple years, he said.

The improvements to the stadium are not the only new things for Ironton City Schools this year. The district is also welcoming five new teachers: high school language arts teacher Courtney Johnson, fourth grade social studies teacher Chris Wilson, high school science teacher Elizabeth Littleton, fifth grade language arts and mathematics teacher Anne Williams and special needs teacher Michael Wright.

This year the district will have a new transportation policy. Nance said the new policy will require parents to establish their children’s schedule and bus during the first week of school. Previously, students were allowed to take a different bus after school with written permission or a phone call from a parent.

“With a phone call you don’t always know who’s on the other side and with a handwritten note never 100 percent sure who wrote it,” Nance said. The new policy is for the safety and security of the students, Nance said.

The school district is also purchasing new computers for the elementary school as well as new Smart Boards and Smart Tables.

Nance said the staff is excited for a new school year and thankful to be in the new buildings where there is climate control.

“It’s awfully early and hot to be starting school if you don’t have climate control,” he said. “Let’s face it, you have a better chance of educating a child if they’re comfortable in their physical environment.”

Nance praised the district’s maintenance and custodial staff for keeping the buildings in good condition.

“The schools look great,” he said. “My hat’s off to maintenance and custodial staff.”