DUBUQUE, Ia.- The Loras College campus is now more handicap accessible with a new ramp in front of Christ the King Chapel.
Facility managers tell us the project has been on their docket for several years — and finally became a reality this summer, thanks to funding from an anonymous donor who gave forth 100,000 dollars toward Christ the King Chapel for wheel chair accessibility improvements.
With these new improvements toward the chapel it got us thinking, just how accessible is Loras in general? Especially because of all the hills.
We found our answers in Tatiana Naborowski a first year student at Loras who has to not only worry about finding her way around campus, making new friends and adapting to college life on her own, but also she has to keep in mind her mobility.
Tatiana got West Nile Virus and Cephalitis at the early age of seven, which lead to cardiac arrest and soon after a coma. This event early on in her life is a battle she is still recovering from in terms of her her mobility. To make things easier she now uses a scooter to get around.
Loras has been working to improve accessibility around campus and have been adding resources for the growing number of students with these needs like Tatiana.
“We are seeing more need to be more compliant than what we currently were.” John McDermott Assistant Vice President of Physical Resources at Loras College tells us.
And that need to be compliant has introduced new door operating systems, elevators, and ramps to campus.
Additionally, new this year is the arrangement between Jule Bus and Loras, which brings a bus daily to campus and provides transportation anywhere for anyone who needs it. It does infact transport Tatiana from Rohlman, the residence hall where she lives in, to the Visitation Complex located across Loras Boulevard.
And even while so much has already been done, there is still room for improvement in certain areas…
“Like Rohlman, getting into the actual section where the dorms are, the doors don’t have a button there…. so I need to get out of my scooter… kick out the block of wood…get back on my scooter and go through the door” Tatiana explains.
That’s why Loras has plans in place for future improvement, but in the meantime, Loras will continue to work with Tatiana and make the necessary arrangements for her academic success.