Wesleyan Receives Grant for Accessibility Improvements

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University recently received a $100,000 grant from The Cannon Foundation. The College recognizes the need to provide students, faculty and staff adequate mobility around campus to meet its mission of preparing students for professional advancement, life-long learning and responsible participation in their communities. The grant will be utilized to repair and replace sidewalks and curb ramps throughout the College.

Most of Wesleyan’s buildings and infrastructure were built between 1956 and the mid-70’s. As new buildings and infrastructure have been added or renovated, NCWC has strived to meet all legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act. However, sidewalks on campus are deteriorating due to age, tree roots and weather. The cracks, divots, spall areas and raised edges can make it difficult for all pedestrians, particularly to those with mobility restrictions.

Many of the crosswalks do not have curb ramps, and those that do are not ADA-compliant. Those with mobility difficulties either have to alter their route or place their personal safety at risk when navigating through crosswalks. This project involves the excavation and replacement of 1,821 feet of sidewalks and 180 feet of curbing, along with the installation of four handicap ramps with mats.

“This grant is vital to providing all students with equal access to all buildings, institutional programs and activities. Removing architectural barriers and making the campus accessible continues to be a priority for Wesleyan. It was recently determined that the repair and replacement of sidewalks, as well as curb ramps at crosswalks, were our most critical needs for accomplishing this,” stated Linda Jones, Grant Writer for NC Wesleyan’s Office of College Advancement.

The Cannon Foundation, Inc. is part of the philanthropic legacy of Charles A. Cannon, industrialist and humanitarian, who was President and Chairman of Cannon Mills Company for more than half a century. The Foundation continues Mr. Cannon’s philanthropy through funding in healthcare, higher education, human services and community.