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Different Ways to Provide Safe Access at Schools

There are many ways to keep students and staff safe with durable access solutions.

From different wheelchair ramp applications to graduation stages, accessibility must be taken into consideration in all areas of a school’s campus. Follow along as we cover different ways to utilize aluminum ramps, platforms, and steps on a school or university campus to ensure code compliance and safe access.

straight TITANâ„¢ modular ramp and stairs leading up to a portable classroom

Portable Classroom Access  

With the elevated entrances of portable classrooms, a means of access is necessary to enter and exit the modular building. Access into these classrooms must be code compliant, which is why aluminum ramps are an ideal solution for this application.

Three common configurations that we see deployed are a straight ramp with a platform at the door, a platform at the door with a straight ramp on one side and a set of stairs on the other, or a longer ramp system that includes a switch back.

Choosing aluminum for this application has several advantages over other materials such as wood. The modularity, durability, safety, ease of installation, and low-maintenance nature sets aluminum apart.

TITANâ„¢ Modular Ramp leading up to a permanent school building

School Building Access  

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), every individual should have the ability to "arrive on-site, approach the building, and enter as freely as everyone else." The standard for this is that 60% of public entrances in newly constructed (built after 2010) facilities are required to be accessible. Existing facilities are required to have 50% of public entrances accessible. You must also factor in that there needs to be the same number of accessible exits as there are entrances.

The best option for the building entrance/exit would be an ADA-compliant ramp made from aluminum. We recommend aluminum because the ramps for the main entrances to a school or university building are permanent access solutions, which need to be durable enough to outlast bad weather and high traffic year after year. The variations of configurations are similar to the ones listed above, with an additional common configuration: a ramp system that is installed over a set of stairs. Many educational buildings have a set of existing concrete stairs leading up to the entrance without a wheelchair-accessible option. Instead of doing some expensive demolition and reconstruction, an aluminum ramp can easily be installed over the steps.

Outdoor graduation stage with TITANâ„¢ Modular Ramps providing access to stage

Graduation Stages  

By connecting several of our modular platforms together, you can create a custom-sized graduation stage suitable for your school. If you have an existing stage and are in need of ramps or steps that allow students and faculty to access the stage, we have a couple of different solutions that can easily be added on to your structure.

With two options for accessing the stage, you can be sure to accommodate students and faculty of all abilities. Steps and ramps can both be utilized for entering and exiting. The most common configuration that we see is a ramp and a set of steps on each side of the stage so that graduates can enter on one side, cross the stage, and exit on the opposite side. With the modular nature of our aluminum components, there is an infinite amount of potential configurations that can be created to suit your school’s exact needs.

Tear down, setup, and storage are a breeze thanks to our system’s modular components, universal hardware, and a durable aluminum design that allows for convenient use year after year.

TITANâ„¢ Modular Stairs and platform providing access to dumpster

Maintenance and Facilities Access  

The maintenance and facilities team needs to carry waste from all over the school or university and drop it off at the dumpster. While you may not think of it, the trash bags that need to go in the dumpster are often too heavy to throw up and over into the tall bin. To avoid injuries, schools and universities should install a set of stairs by each dumpster.

We recommend using our PATHWAY® HD Code Compliant Modular Access System. This all-aluminum system offers custom step configurations that can be adjusted for each location around the school. While you can purchase a system with a single platform at the top, connected to a set of stairs, we typically recommend having several platforms at the top allowing for more space to move around, or set anything heavy down before throwing it over into the dumpster.

TITANâ„¢ Modular Ramp providing access to stadium bleachers

Stadium Access  

ADA guidelines require at least 50% of the entrances to the stadium must be wheelchair accessible. You can make these spaces accessible by adding ramps to your sports spaces. From arenas to stadiums, all students, faculty, and fans should be able to show off their school spirit! By adding a PATHWAY HD Code Compliant Modular Access System you can ensure that everyone has a safe way to enter and exit your school's sporting events.

If your stadium attracts many families to each event, the lower child handrail is a great option. A lower child handrail is easier to reach for younger children and anyone in a seated position.

FORTRESSâ„¢ Stairs providing access on roof

Roof Access  

The facilities staff at your school needs to access the maintenance units on the roof on a regular basis, and these units typically have an elevated entrance. Rather than have the staff members strain themselves climbing in and out of the unit, an aluminum stair system is a great solution. The FORTRESS® OSHA Stair System is a flexible stair system that can be configured for virtually any layout. It’s constructed from commercial-grade aluminum to endure all weather conditions on the roof and is built for rigorous use. You can even add a canopy to protect your staff from rain, sun, and snow.

If you have questions about installing access solutions at your school or university, the product experts on our team can provide you with the answers. Contact us today.

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