Halifax Student Disappointed at Delay in Work to Improve School’s Accessibility

Stairlift to basement classroom now expected to be in place by end of May, HRCE says Gareth Hampshire, CBC News
Posted: Mar 28, 2024

A Halifax student who launched a petition calling for a stairlift to a basement classroom in her school is frustrated the installation has been delayed.

“It’s disappointing that they didn’t get it done, but it’s not surprising,” said Lux Melanson, who is in Grade 9 at Fairview Junior High School. “There was absolutely no work done on the stairs throughout this entire month.”

Melanson started the petition in February, because she was upset that some students are unable to access the school’s technology-education classroom.

In response to questions from CBC News about the 15-year-old’s petition earlier in March, the Halifax Regional Centre for Education said the issue had been identified earlier this year.

It said a stairlift was expected to be ready for use by March 31.

However, an email was sent to parents on March 26 saying the installation had been “delayed due to project requirements.”

A statement from HRCE said the stairlift requirements had changed during the approval process.

“Rather than an in-stock unit, a specialty chair lift was required,” it said.

Other accessibility work on that floor of the school, including changes to doorways and washrooms, has been completed, the statement said.

The needed equipment is expected to arrive in late April or early May, HRCE said, adding that the work will be done outside school hours.

HRCE now expects the stairlift to be operational by the end of May.

It said in the meantime, staff will continue to “support all students and deliver curriculum in other learning spaces in the building.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gareth Hampshire began his career with CBC News in 1998. He has worked as a reporter in Edmonton and is now based in Halifax.

Original at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-student-chair-lift-fairview-junior-high-1.7158103