- Oct 20, 2020
Disabilities as part of Inclusion
Nearly 1 in 4 workers will experience a disabling condition of a year or more before they reach retirement age. These short- and long-term disabilities encompass all walks of life without regard to race, gender, or economic status. While most of the recent diversity and inclusion discussions deservedly revolve around gender and race, very little attention is given to those with disabilities. And those with disabilities make up the world’s largest diversity group.
This year marks 30 years since the inception of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability, in addition to imposing accessibility requirements on public accommodations. Still, public entities often struggle to accommodate those needs. Gilbane recently joined University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to renovate the historic, outdoor athletic Mackay Stadium on campus. Renovations included bringing the stadium into full ADA compliance. The stadium seats 30,000 at full capacity but was lacking accessible seating. Gilbane’s scope of work included building new bleacher platforms, stairs, and handrails to make more sections of the stadium accessible to disabled fans. Now, some of the best seats in the house are accessible to all fans!
Superintendent Charlie Nahorniak and project engineer Ian Mastick personally toured the stadium via wheelchairs to check ramps for accessibility and review lines of sight. By doing so, they noticed some problem areas that were not addressed in the original plans and provided the owner with ideas for improvement. For example, Charlie noticed someone in a wheelchair would need a lower peephole for the suite doors, and the team was able to incorporate these into the design. Talk about our core value of Gilbane Cares in action! Ann Larson, UNR’s Senior Associate Athletic Director, had this to say, “Thank you to a great team….the best team I have ever had the pleasure of working with on a construction project!”
Also, a UNR alumnus reached out to our team to express gratitude for the project. A former athlete for the school and paralyzed later in life, he is now able to comfortably cheer for the Nevada Wolf Pack from one of the 138 newly renovated wheelchair seats.
Click here to watch a drone flight over the new stadium. We are #GilbaneProud of this project that improves the game day experience for all fans.