April 19, 2007 in Idaho

Agency to help fund ADA work at Sorensen

The Spokesman-Review
 

The Lake City Development Corp. will help pay for $421,000 worth of improvements needed for Sorensen Elementary School to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Plans to turn Sorensen into a magnet school ups the ante for compliance with the federal act, said Hazel Bauman, assistant superintendent for the Coeur d’Alene School District.

When Sorensen was a neighborhood school, students with physical disabilities could be transferred to nearby Fernan Elementary, which is fully ADA compliant, she said.

But with Sorensen offering a magnet curriculum, the school must be outfitted to accommodate students with special needs, Bauman told the LCDC board.

The board voted to support the improvements at its Wednesday meeting, without committing to a specific dollar amount. Bauman told board members that the improvements could be phased in over time.

LCDC is Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency. When budget cuts threatened to close Sorensen, LCDC members supported keeping it open, saying that an elementary school downtown was critical to Coeur d’Alene’s revitalization efforts.

Architects West prepared a study of the needed improvements. A $91,000 elevator is one of the big-ticket items.

– Becky Kramer

Vandals strike Federal Building site

There’s been anything but law and order lately at the site of Coeur d’Alene’s new Federal Building.

Vandals caused nearly $8,000 damage to equipment at the construction site over the weekend, smashing windows in several vehicles and spray-painting racist and profane graffiti throughout the site, Coeur d’Alene police said.

One piece of heavy equipment was driven through some temporary fencing, according to police reports.

Coeur d’Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood said other instances of vandalism have been reported since construction began on the building, which is set to open in 2008 near the intersection of U.S. Highway 95 and Hanley Avenue.

Damage caused by paintballs was reported during the night of March 31, and three pine trees were reportedly chopped down April 5 at neighboring property owned by Hecla Mining.

– Taryn Brodwater


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