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School board approves 'Phase 1' which includes building of ADA sidewalk near softball field by district office

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - The Scappoose High School varsity softball team practices on a field just off 3rd Street in Scappoose, adjacent to the school district office. The school board is in the process of upgrading the facility to comply  with federal anti-gender discrimination rules.The first phase of improvements to the Scappoose High School varsity softball field were unanimously approved by the Scappoose School Board on Monday, June 12.

The first round of improvements includes the installation of an Americans with Disabilities Act-compatible sidewalk that would reach the seating area of the varsity softball field located next to the Scappoose School District office.

In a memo to the school board, Ron Alley, the district's acting superintendent and director of curriculum, instruction and secondary education, said he corresponded with Scappoose city officials about what the next steps should be to install a compatible sidewalk.

Rather than establishing an ADA van-accessible parking space on 3rd Street, city staff recommended using a designated parking spot in the district office parking lot, which has an entrance on Southeast High School Way, for compatibility with state law, and building an extension onto the existing sidewalk that borders one edge of the softball field.

The total cost of the first phase would be $7,540. That cost includes city fees for obtaining a right-of-way permit. Alley noted that after the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, the district will have to request new cost estimates for the project.

A 2016 audit of Scappoose School District's athletic program revealed inequalities between resources made available to the girls' softball team and the boys' baseball team, a violation of federal Title IX rules, which dictate anti-gender discrimination standards. The girls' softball team did not have equal access to restrooms or concession stands, the audit found.

In April, the school board reviewed several options to come into compliance with the federal guidelines, including upgrading the current facility or moving the team to a different field. A majority of the school board favored upgrading the facility.

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