Southern football stadium, other facilities not meeting federal guidelines
BATON ROUGE - Southern University leaders are set to decide on upgrades at facilities that will get the school in line with federal guidelines, which it is not meeting currently.
Buildings are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and must make changes. Southern admits its football stadium, mini dome and T.T. Allaine building do not comply with federal regulations following a lawsuit by a student.
"We are launching a big program that will probably start next month to start fixing things on campus," university spokesman Ed Pratt said.
The consent decree gives the university five years to comply.
Mumford Stadium needs new seats, railings and ramps. The F. G. Clark Activity Center needs more aisle space, additional seating, and better accommodations in restrooms plus new drinking fountains.
"We started this earlier, even before the consent decree, and we made some improvements but now we feel like it's a good time to get everything done," Pratt said.
T.T. Allaine needs new water fountains, too, and needs more handicapped parking spots. Current spots do not have enough space, which means those will need to be re-striped as well.
The university needs money to make these changes and believes the state will help pay a majority of the cost.
"I think the state wants to do what we want to do, and that is to make our whole campus accessible to people with disabilities. It's incumbent on us. It's incumbent on the state and I think they'll be more than willing to help us with that," Pratt said.
Pratt would not estimate the cost of the renovations but a source close to the university says the renovations will be in the millions of dollars.