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August 13, 2007 - Image 15

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-08-13

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The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2007 3

'U' offers public first peek
at Big House renovations
Plans released early
after Maine man's
FOIA request
By GABE NELSON
Daily StaffReporterx
Oct. 20, 2006 - If the University
Board of Regents approves the
Athletic Department's new sta-
dium plans, the Big House could
become the Brick House. .,
The Athletic Department r
released schematic designs yes-
terday for its divisive renovations
to Michigan Stadium.
The drawings show club seats, -
suites and a new press box built IMAGE COURTESY OF THE UN vERSIY ATHETIc ARTMENT
into brick facades on the east and The Athletic Department released the schematic designs for Michigan Stadium'
wet bridek fadestiem sa renovations after the University Board of Regents viewed them at a closed meeting.
west sides of the stadium .
The brick structures would rise construction of luxury suites and Arbor from his home in Maine
85 feet above the ground outside club seating in Michigan Stadium. to threaten the University with a
the stadium, 10 feet higher than Bill Wilson, a member of the lawsuit.
the scoreboards on both sides of group, filed a Freedom of Infor- The University gave Wilson the
the field. mation Act request after he heard schematics shown to the regents
The $226-million renova- the regents had seen preliminary at a closed meeting in September.
tion plan also includes a number designs for the renovation behind In order to guarantee that
of amenities for fans, like more closed doors. He asked for all everyone learned about the design
bathrooms and concession stands, documents pertaining to stadium proposal at the same time, the
wider bleacher seats, handrails in renovations that had been pre- University released the updated
the aisles and handicapped-acces- sented to the regents. version of the schematics to the
sible seating When the deadline for the Uni- public early, Peterson said.
To make room for these chang- versity to comply with the FOIA Theschematicshavebeeninthe
es, a few thousand bleacher seats request passed, Wilson still hadn't works since the regents approved
would be eliminated. The addi- received anything. He flew to Ann the renovation project in May.
tion of 3,200 club seats and 83
suites above the seating bowl
would make up the difference and
keep the total number of seats at
or above the current 107,S01.
The architects thought it
would give the athletic campus a
more unified, stately appearance,
University Athletic Director Bill
Martin said.
"Many, many of the e-mails we
received when we asked for input
on our website said 'You've gotta
make it brick,"' Martin said.
Martin said the plans will soon
be presented to the regents for
approval. r
The Athletic Department origi-
nally planned to show the sche- B '
matics to the public on Monday, but
released them yesterday instead
when the design was leaked to B s ¬ędo Aa r g
members of the public, University
spokeswoman Julie Peterson said.
Yesterday morning, The Michi-
gan Daily obtained information
about the design from Save the Big
House, _ group that opposes the

Suit filed against 'U'
for stadium plan'

Lack of accessible seats
is discriminatory,
group claims
By JESSICA VOSGERCHIAN
Daily StaffReporter
Apr. 14,2007 - The Michigan Para-
lyzed Veterans of America filed a
lawsuit on Tuesday against the Uni-
versity accusing it of moving for-
ward with renovations to Michigan
Stadium that fail to comply with the
Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990.
By filing the suit, the group deliv-
ered on the vow it made earlier this
year to legally challenge the plans
- which include the controver-
sial addition of luxury boxes to the
stadium's skyline - if they aren't
changed to meet ADA standards.
The 80-year-old stadium has
been exempted from ADA compli-
ance in the past because it was con-
structed before 1990.
Butthe MPVA's complaintargues
that the full extent of the proposed
renovations would trigger an obli-
gation to bringthe original stadium
bowl up to code.
Stadium-wide compliance would
include making 1 percent of all seat-
ing handicap accessible and offer-
ing a variety of seating locations
and ticket prices for disabled visi-
tors. For the officially 107,501-seat

stadium, that means there must be
at least 1,000 handicap accessible
seats.
University spokeswoman Kelly
Cunningham said only new con-
struction on the stadium - like the
luxury boxes and additional bleach-
ers - is required to meet ADA
guidelines. Within the expansion,
more than 1 percent of seating will
be handicap accessible, she said.
The number of wheelchair-
accessible seats in the stadium will
increase from 90 to 282.
Butthe additional seating doesn't
satisfy the plaintiffs because the
seats are situated in only a few
places and fail to accommodate
companions of wheelchair users,
Bernstein said. In the renovation
plans, one regular seat accompa-
nies each wheelchair spot.
The plans place 72 accessible
seats together on the stadium's
west side and 38 indoor and out-
door seats on its east side.
Bernstein said the University
is discriminating against disabled
people with renovations that treat
them like "second class citizens."
"President (Mary Sue) Coleman
says diversity is her main goal, but
the main ceremonial house is not
welcomingto all people in the com-
munity," he said.
Cunningham said the University
has tried to include the interests
of disabled people by contracting
architects with ADA expertise.

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