27 years after the approval of the Americans with Disabilities Act, San Antonio City Hall is still not fully accessible to the disabled, something City Councilman Roberto Trevino, who is an architect by profession, says is unacceptable, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Today Trevino, along with philanthropist Gordon Hartman, whose 'Morgan's Wonderland' is the world's first theme park for disabled persons, announced a competition to design a suitable way to make the front steps of the 1890 City Hall building fully accessible.
Trevino said that there are an estimated 150,000 people in San Antonio who would have trouble mounting the concrete steps of City Hall due to physical disabilities."As Military City USA, we must also consider our growing disabled veteran population," Trevino said. "In my experience, veterans are some of the most engaged citizens."
He says the competition will be open to students as well as professional architects, engineers and planners, which will make the 'east elevation of the historic City Hall accessible in a manner above what is adequate or compliant with the ADA. The solution must meet the standards of preservation and support equality of opportunity, full participation, and self sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.'
Currently, the disabled currently have access to City Hall through an underground, poorly lit tunnel which leaves them in a basement storage area, something Hartman said is unacceptable.
"There are a large number of people, who cannot access the front doors of where their city government interacts and brings about activity within this city," he said.
The plan is for the new design to be approved later this year, and the ramp will be in place in time for the City's 300th birthday in February of 2018.