Commission wants ADA accessibility for Maplewood Barn

Thursday, October 14, 2010 | 6:48 p.m. CDT; updated 11:39 a.m. CDT, Friday, October 15, 2010

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Disabilities Commission discussed the necessity of making sure that designers for the new Maplewood Barn Community Theatre take ADA accessibility into account when drawing up plans.

While the commission did not take a formal stance on the issue, a possible alternative was discussed.

Ray Shapiro, a member of the commission, said one possibility would be reallocating funds meant for the construction of the new Maplewood Barn theater to the Stephens Lake Park amphitheater to make the amphitheater more ADA accessible.

This would make it easier for people with disabilities to get around the amphitheater and even play roles onstage or behind the scenes.

Shapiro said neither one of the theaters works well for people with any sort of disability because the amphitheater is built on a hill and the area around the Maplewood Barn is extremely muddy when the weather is bad.

The amphitheater in Stephens Lake Park made its debut in June after the original Maplewood Barn burned down April 5. 

If Proposition 1, or the parks sales tax renewal, passes on Nov. 2, the city will set aside $200,000 for the rebuilding of the Maplewood Barn.

"The phoenix can rise from the ashes and fly over to Stephens Lake Park," said Shapiro.

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