Plan addresses compliance issues

Region 16 officials will have to reduce the space between the hand railings and what they are attached to at Woodland Regional High School following a random facility review by the Office for Civil Rights. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Region 16 officials will have to reduce the space between the hand railings and what they are attached to at Woodland Regional High School following a random facility review by the Office for Civil Rights. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — A random facility review by federal regulators this spring left Region 16 with 18 mostly minor compliance issues to address at Woodland Regional High School.

Director of Facilities and Maintenance Michael Ceresa last week presented the Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, with a voluntary correction action plan to address the issues.

The plan is a result of a random compliance check in April by a representative of the Office for Civil Rights, which works in schools to ensure all students have equal access to education through enforcement of civil rights.

Out of the 18 compliance issues, 17 of them are relatively easy to fix, Ceresa explained. They include adding two stations with listening devices in the auditorium for people with severe hearing loss, adding specific spaces in the auditorium for wheelchairs, adding elevator controls with Braille designations, and additional signage to direct people to handicapped parking and accessible passenger loading zone.

Ceresa estimated that addressing the 17 minor issues would cost no more than $10,000.

The largest issues deals with the handrails throughout the school. According to Ceresa, the space between the handrails and what they are attached to is 2 inches throughout the school. That space needs to be 1.5 inches, he said.

The railings will have to be removed, cut down half an inch and then reinstalled, Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said. He said the board will likely have to hire an architect to determine the best way to do it. The cost to do this work is unknown right now.

“It’s nothing to be anxious about or nervous about, the building is fantastic, it meets 99 percent of the needs. This is just one issue that we’re going to have to tackle,” he said.

Yamin said the board has five years to complete the plan.