Operating as the only school in the province of Ontario for blind and deafblind students, W. Ross McDonald School draws students from across Canada to its location in Brantford and also offers a residence to accommodate students from out of province. In addition to providing a supportive curriculum to enrolled students, the school also provides various programming through short-term programs for neighbouring school boards.
The school has a number of special features designed to aid students in navigating around the buildings. Varied materials and textures in walls and flooring as well as eye-level windows further enhance the experience for students at the school. In addition to these features, the school is also equipped with an athletics program for the student body.
As part of some upgrades to the school’s outdoor track, we were enlisted to design a solution that would go a long way in continuing the development of their athletic programming. In a project that was taken on by our partners at RK & Associates, our engineering team was brought in to aid in designing an inside guide rail to help visually impaired students use a newly installed synthetic running track. Working closely with RK as well as with Worldwide Turf Canada, the general contractor on the project, the end result of these three organization’s efforts was a truly unique product.
The overall project included the establishment of the new field and drainage, the construction of a large retaining wall and the provision of spectator seating. The final piece was the design and installation of the guide rail that was placed around the inside of the track.
Acting as a guide for students to walk or run around the track, the ingenuity of this unique project is something that our team is very proud of. This is a project that won’t soon be forgotten and one that we trust will provide decades of use for the students at W. Ross McDonald School for the Blind.