June 16, 2021

Woodland Park improves ADA accessibility

Woodland Park and Eversman Baseball Field are now more accessible for those with disabilities.

Improvements including adding handicapped accessible parking and an accessible route for spectators to the ball field were completed as a part of the city’s continued efforts to become fully Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

The project includes new ADA accessible walkways, parking stalls and a concrete slab beneath the bleacher seating. The city worked with the Newton Community School District in a joint effort to prepare the plans for the upgrades.

“As an overall goal of the parks system we are trying to improve ADA compliance throughout our parks,” Nathan Unsworth, city parks superintendent said. “Working with the schools we identified Eversman as a priority and we are working to make it more handicapped accessible around Eversman field along with the shelter and the restroom at the park.”

The contract for the work was awarded to low bidder Jerry Keenan Concrete, of Newton, in the amount of $28,479. Final construction costs came in $180 less than the initial bid at $28,299.

The improvements were paid for utilizing 2015 bond proceeds that were made available by the Newton Fire Department receiving outside funding for the new pumper/tanker truck.

The project is a part of the city’s transition plan that identifies locations in need of structural modification to meet ADA requirements and identifies and removes barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities. By law, every city with 50 or more employees is responsible for implementing a plan.

Additional needs currently on the city’s radar include handicap accessible parking and accessible routes in city parks.

“As a city we need to strive to make everything handicapped accessible and be more open and welcoming to all of our park users,” Unsworth said.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com