Success Story: Implementing the ADA in Bethel, VT

December 21, 2015

In 2012, Delbert Cloud, then Town Manager of Bethel had the foresight to apply for the New England ADA Center’s ADA Field-Based Training. This training would arm him with the necessary skills and information to improve the accessibility of Bethel’s recreation facility. Little did he know the list of ADA problems would be a long one: inaccessible walkways, bathhouse, playground and signage, to name a few.

Children and adults at an in-ground pool
Bethel Recreation Area

Tip of the Iceberg

In 2012, town employees, including Assistant Town Manager Abbie Sherman, spent the day with staff from the New England ADA Center using the ADA Checklist to survey the area, identifying access issues and discussing solutions to comply with the law and provide access benefitting all citizens.

Small white building near pool
Existing Bath House (2014)

What Next?

In the fall of 2012, the Town of Bethel and the Recreation Committee sought proposals to develop a master plan for the Recreation Center.  Vermont Integrated Architecture (VIA) was chosen to develop the Master Plan.  VIA utilized information from various sources, including the ADA Field Based-Training report. The Master Plan was presented to the Bethel community for input as well as continually displayed at the pool. The Town also applied for Alternate Project Funding through FEMA after tropical storm Irene.

Distance shot on construction equipmentFoundation of new building being constructed
Demolition of Bathhouse began October, 2015.

Luck - The Intersection of Preparation and Opportunity!

In 2014, the Town received a $25,000 Recreation Facilities Grant for the construction of accessible walkways.  And, in January 2015, the Town received funding through FEMA’s Alternate Projects to demolish and reconstruct the bathhouse. Construction of a new bathhouse, accessible walkways, and paved accessible parking spaces has begun!

With completed plans in place to address the many accessibility issues, the recreation area is a work in progress. The New England ADA Center and the Vermont Center for Independent Living staff are proud to have collaborated with the Town of Bethel to foster implementation of the ADA.

Digital rendering of new bath house with covered outdoor area
Drawing of Future Bath Housefrom the Master Plan