May 9, 2012
Contact: Philip L. Barlow
Cal Poly Teams With Local Nonprofit to Build
Wheelchair-Accessible Boccé Ball Court
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly and an Atascadero nonprofit agency are teaming up in a unique multidisciplinary project to build a wheelchair-accessible boccé ball court at the Colony Park Recreation Center in Atascadero.
The project grew out of an ongoing collaboration between Cal Poly’s Kinesiology Department and the North County Sports and Recreation Program, also known as the Bulldogs.
The recreation program provides physical activity programming to children and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities. As part of the Kinesiology Department’s STRIDE (Science through Translational Research in Diet and Exercise) program, students in Professor Kevin Taylor’s Adapted Physical Activity class provide physical activity instruction for the Bulldogs.
Taylor enlisted the help of Cal Poly Construction Management Professor Phil Barlow, who teaches a service-learning class in construction that leads students through multiple project steps and provides them with an opportunity to give back to the community.
Eight of Barlow’s students are working in two teams to make the boccé project a reality. They are responsible for the design and scope of the project, as well as all estimating, scheduling, coordinating, procuring, constructing, tracking (cost and schedule), and closing out the project.
According to Barlow these service-learning courses offer excellent Learn by Doing lessons.
The boccé project and the North County Sports and Recreation Program are teaching students the value and importance of working with people with disabilities. April Morris, one of Taylor’s students, summed up the experience: “It’s an amazing experience to learn about people with disabilities, make friends, and give back to the community.”
Kinesiology senior Erica Cook is learning about “inclusion.” “Working with the Bulldogs has shown me how important inclusion truly is,” Cook said. “It’s one thing to sit in class and learn what inclusion means, but it means so much more when you see it firsthand.”
Morro Bay resident Ron Vasconcellos, a founding member of the Bulldogs nonprofit board, is the driving force behind the project. “I am very pleased with the support of all the community partners who have helped with this project,” Vasconcellos said. “They include retired surveyor Clark Rudy, Brent Fogg of Granite Construction, Bethany Miner of Miners Hardware, Brady Cherry of Atascadero Parks and Recreation and Cal Portland. They have all worked together to support this wonderful project.”
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