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WOHS Security Guard Advocates for new Door

Anna Favetta, Editor-in-Chief

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WEST ORANGE, Nj — Brian Reddington has used a wheelchair for most of his life and worked as a security guard at West Orange High School (WOHS) for 6 years. Despite his love for the school, his job at WOHS was made a bit more difficult due to his disability.

Reddington had originally acted as the security guard for the Pleasant Valley Way (PVW) entrance. The PVW entrance ramp leads to automatic doors which helped Brian significantly.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “Each facility or part of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity shall be designed and constructed in such manner that the facility or part of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if the construction was commenced after January 26, 1992.”

All of the doors at WOHS are ADA compliant, however only the PVW entrance doors were automatic. In Feb. of 2017, Reddington was transferred from PVW to the security guard in the WOHS library. After the move, WOHS’ principal, Hayden Moore asked Reddington about the ADA doors in the building. Reddington brought up the point to Principal Moore that while his wheelchair fit through the doors, the non-automatic function made it extremely difficult for him to get around.

According to Reddington, students and staff would constantly have to help him with opening the doors to the library and the only way he could get to the library was with the use of three different elevators. It made fire drills, evacuation drills and common daily life extremely difficult. After a discussion with Principal Moore, the two knew change had to happen.

The two first brought the idea up to the Board of Education (BOE), who was reluctant due to budgeting. The district’s Director of Buildings and Grounds, Robert Csigi was just as reluctant as the BOE. According to Brian, the door would cost about $8,000 and while the WOHS administration was in favor of the change, the BOE and Csigi were concerned about budget constraints. Eventually, with the additional help of the President of the West Orange Education Association (WOEA) and dean at WOHS, Mark Maniscalco, Principal Moore and Reddington were able to influence the BOE and Csigi’s decision.

After a year and a half of debating and discussing, the new automatic door was expected to be installed some time in Jan. 2018. To Brian’s surprise the door was already installed when he returned from winter break. Brian was so grateful he started thanking everyone involved in the change.

Brian stated, “I am glad we have a door not just for me but future generations to come because I’m sure I’m not going to be the only guy in a wheelchair that works here.”

Brian has been pushing for a second automatic door now that the district has seen its benefit. While the new automatic door system may be more expensive it is scheduled to be installed by the Conforti entrance sometime in July.

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