ATG: Where are the benches in the Science Center?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Science Center bathrooms used to contain wooden benches in front of the stalls. This semester, however, “the benches were removed because they interfered with the space required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” Associate VP for Facilities Stu Hain said in an email. (The college settled a suit with the Justice Department last fall for failing to meet the act’s requirements.)

But not to worry, Swatties. Hain adds, “We are looking into fold down benches that may allow enough clear space when folded up to allow the space to be compliant.”


  1. In the men’s bathrooms, I seem to recall these benches were in front of the urinals, at the back of the bathroom (the handicapped-access stall is the first one). Isn’t it weird to remove the benches in that case?

  2. in the women’s bathroom, the benches were in front of the regular stalls as well… not the handicapped one.

  3. I will comment directly on this, being the evil bench remover herself – we a) wanted to be consistent about removing the benches, since they were also protruding objects, and taking up room for wheelchair turning radii b) people with disabilities may also use urinals c) the main reason for the benches was for people using the showers in the lower level bathrooms to be more easily able to change their clothes – not an issue in the upper level bathrooms.


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