Platform to give students with disabilities a better view at Penn-Trafford stadium

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When Gary Proskin and Scott Coy saw a student in a wheelchair peering through the backs of the home team to watch a football game at Penn-Trafford’s Warrior Stadium in the fall, they decided they wanted to change things.

Mr. Proskin of Proskin Concrete Construction in Trafford and Mr. Coy of Coy Capital Management in Wilkins have announced that they will provide materials, labor and funding to build a ramp and platform for spectators with disabilities. The elevated platform will be adjacent to the student section in the district’s stadium.

The cost is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000, said Mr. Coy, adding that the steel railing, which will be prefabricated by Multi-Metals Co. Inc. in Jeannette, is expected to cost $6,000 to $10,000.

“We wanted these students to be able to sit with their friends and be able to sit in an elevated area,” he said.

The first row in the stadium stands is reserved for spectators who have disabilities. According to Mr. Coy, it is difficult to view the entire game from that vantage.

Mr. Proskin is reviewing Americans with Disabilities Act standards and regulations to design the approximately 8-foot by 14-foot platform on a base that will be about 4½ feet from the ground. It will be accessed by a ramp and decorated with a Warrior emblem.

The freestanding structure will not be attached to the existing bleachers but will be 2 to 3 inches away so that people can step across to the student section, he said.

The platform will hold about four people.

Work will begin as soon as the weather breaks, Mr. Coy said. Their goal is to have the new section ready for use by graduation in June.

“This will let any one of our students who have any kind of disability to sit with their peers," said Kerry Hetrick, athletic director for Penn-Trafford. "Mr. Proskin and Mr. Coy are doing a nice thing for the students, school district and the community. They grew up here, and they are a generous part of the community.”

Mr. Proskin and Mr. Coy are  building the structure in memory of Shelley Proskin, Mr. Proskin’s sister who died in 2004 at age 30, and in memory of Ronald Coy, Mr. Coy’s father who died in July.

“Whatever it costs, it’s going to happen," Mr. Coy said. "It’s something we’ve got to do.”

Laurie Bailey, freelance writer:

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