LAWRENCE — A landmark on the University of Kansas campus is now more accessible to people with disabilities. University leaders will celebrate the creation of an accessible entrance into the front of Strong Hall with a ribbon-cutting at noon Thursday, May 7.
The building is home to a number of administrative and student services offices at KU, including the Chancellor’s Office, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Academic Advising Center and many others. Students, faculty and staff with disabilities previously had to use accessible entries located at the back of Strong Hall.
The initiative to create the ramp started with involvement of the 2012-2013 Student Senate and members of the AbleHawks and Allies, a student organization that raises awareness about accessibility needs. Student Senate requested KU Design & Construction Management study the possibility of an additional accessible entrance to Strong Hall.
As one of the university’s older buildings, Strong Hall required special consideration to maintain its historical nature. Jim Modig, university architect and director of Design & Construction Management, worked with Bob Rombach, university fire marshal, to create an accessible front entrance that maintains the structure’s character.
Although not under any legal obligation to add the new accessible entry, university leadership is committed to demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity on campus, including people with disabilities. The new ramp is to the east of the main entrance into Strong Hall.
“The Strong Hall entrance endeavor has reflected the best of KU’s community spirit,” said Jamie Lloyd Simpson, director of Accessibility and ADA Education. “Countless numbers of students, faculty, staff and administrators converged to assess the value of the project, the means by which to accomplish it and dedication to its accomplishment.”
The public is welcome to join the ceremony. A reception will follow.
Guests in need of an accommodation due to a disability should submit their request by Wednesday evening, May 6, to Human Resources Management; via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 785-864-4946. TTY: 711.