OAKLAND -- Mills College administrators agreed this week to make the 135-acre campus fully accessible to those with disabilities by the end of next year under an agreement reached with the U.S. attorney's office.
The college was found in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2010 when federal inspectors found roughly 260 violations at the 141-year-old campus.
The inspection was sparked by a complaint made to the Department of Justice's civil rights division about the accessibility of a restroom on the campus.
When federal inspectors arrived, they found more problems than just one restroom. Violations ranged from having classroom lab tables that were too high to accessibility ramps that were too steep. Many bathrooms did not have required accessible toilet stalls, drinking fountains were too high and, among other problems, the college lacked adequate van-accessible parking.
The agreement calls for the school to make 368 fixes by the end of 2014, with additional work to be completed by the end of 2017 and larger projects to be done by the end of 2023. Once completed, the agreement states, the college's lecture halls, auditoriums and gymnasium will be fully wheelchair accessible.
Renee Jadushlever, chief of staff and vice president of operations for the college, said in a statement that the college is "pleased" to have reached an agreement.
"While this means the college will incur additional costs, we will continue to make the necessary accommodations to provide unobstructed access to facilities for students and visitors with disabilities on our historic campus at all times," she said.
Jadushlever, however, did not say how much the improvements will cost.