Settlement Agreement Concerning the Olympic Aquatic Center

regarding:
wheelchair seating locations, comparable lines of sight,
line of sight over standing spectators, companion seating,
dispersal of wheelchair seating locations, visual alarms,
locker room, accessible route, cane detectable barriers,
assistive listening system, new construction, alterations

Settlement Agreement | Department of Justice Press Releases | Return to Enforcement

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
THE ATLANTA COMMITTEE FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES, INC.,
THE METROPOLITAN ATLANTA OLYMPIC GAMES AUTHORITY, AND
THE BOARD OF REGENTS FOR THE STATE OF GEORGIA,
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
CONCERNING THE OLYMPIC AQUATIC CENTER LOCATED ON THE CAMPUS OF THE GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA


INTRODUCTION

1. This Agreement (the "Agreement") is made and entered into by the United States of America (the "United States"), the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, Inc. ("ACOG"), the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority ("MAOGA"), and the Board of Regents for the State of Georgia (the "Board") (collectively, the United States, ACOG, MAOGA, and the Board will be referred to hereinafter as the "Parties").

2. This Agreement resolves an investigation conducted by the United States Department of Justice of ACOG, MAOGA, and the Board under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12189 (the "Act" or the "ADA"), concerning the Olympic Aquatic Center (the "Center") located in Atlanta, Georgia on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology ("Georgia Tech").

3. The resolution of this matter through this Agreement serves the Parties' interests in securing the rights of individuals with disabilities by designing and constructing an accessible Olympic Aquatic Center.

4. The Parties agree as follows:

THE PARTIES

5. The term "Respondents" refers to ACOG, MAOGA, and the Board and their parent companies, subsidiaries, departments, and/or agencies, if any.

6. The term "the Department" refers to the United States Department of Justice, and, because the Department is the designated enforcement authority for the ADA under Titles II and III of the ADA, "the Department" is used interchangeably with "United States."

7. ACOG is a private corporation created to organize, conduct, and stage the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games (the "Olympic Games"). Pursuant to a contractual agreement with the Board, ACOG will manage the construction of the Center and will occupy the Center during the Olympic Games. During construction of the Center and the hosting of the Olympic Games, ACOG will be an operator of the Center. ACOG has played a role in the design and construction of the Center and is a lessee of the Center and the Calloway Student Athletic Center (the "CSAC"). Within the meaning of this Agreement only, the Parties agree that, with respect to its role in regard to the design, construction, operation, occupation, and lease of the Center, ACOG is an operator and lessee of a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a), and is a public accommodation within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 36.104, and is subject to Title III of the ADA.

8. MAOGA is a political subdivision created by the State of Georgia in 1989 for the purpose of "conducting and staging the Olympic summer games in conjunction with the local organizing committee, . . . and to that end, of acquiring, maintaining, and operating any facilities within the state necessary or useful in the conduct of the Olympic Games." Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority Act, Ga. L. 1989 at 5078. As a result, MAOGA is a public entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1)(B) and 28 C.F.R. § 35.104, and is subject to Title II of the ADA.

9. In order to undertake its responsibility to maintain and operate facilities within the State of Georgia needed to conduct the Olympic Games, MAOGA has approval responsibility regarding expenditures of $250,000 or more for the construction and alteration of facilities. MAOGA has exercised its right of approval for the construction of the Center and the alteration of the Student Activity Center. As of April 19, 1994, MAOGA had approved an expenditure of $15,420,183 for this purpose.

10. As a result of its approval authority, the Department contends that MAOGA is responsible for the design and construction of the Center in accordance with 28 C.F.R. § 35.151. See Paragraph 53 herein.

11. The Board is a division of the government of the State of Georgia entrusted with, among other things, the responsibility for operating and managing the University System of the State of Georgia pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Georgia, Article VIII, Section 4, Paragraph 1. The Board is the owner of the Center and the CSAC which is located adjacent to the Center and will be used in conjunction with it. The Board is also the lessor of the Center and has participated in its design and construction. As a result, the Board is a public entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1)(B) and 28 C.F.R. § 35.104, and is subject to Title II of the ADA. With limited exceptions for pre-Olympic events, the Board has maintained and continues to maintain operational control of the CSAC throughout the pre-Olympic construction period.

12. Georgia Tech is an institution of the University System of the State of Georgia whose campus is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The government, control, and management of Georgia Tech is vested in the Board.

THE CENTER

13. The Center is a multi-use water sports facility presently under construction on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. It is designed for use as a venue for the Olympic Games (the "Olympic configuration"), during which time it will serve as the location for the swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo competitions. In its Olympic configuration, the Center will consist of a newly constructed state-of-the-art pool for swimming races, a diving pool, and a water polo pool (the "water polo venue"); all pools are equipped with spectator stands. The main swimming race and diving pools in the Olympic configuration will be referred to collectively hereinafter as the "main competition venue." During the Olympic Games, the main competition venue will serve as the location for the swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming competitions, as well as the final rounds of the water polo competition. The water polo venue will serve as the location for the preliminary rounds of the water polo competition. The Center is designed so that it may be converted, after completion of the Olympic Games, into a natatorium for use by students, faculty and alumni of Georgia Tech (the "post-Olympic configuration"). With respect to seating capacity, the modification will result in a smaller facility. After the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, ACOG will modify the Center by removing the temporary and portable facilities, including the water polo pool and its seating bowl in its entirety. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, the Parties agree that ACOG's responsibility for alterations of the post-Olympic configuration will be limited solely to any modifications which constitute alterations made or undertaken by ACOG.

14. In addition to the newly constructed facilities, ACOG will utilize the CSAC to assist in staging Olympic Games events, including, but not limited to, press rooms, lounges, locker rooms, and restrooms. The Board asserts that pursuant to Georgia Tech's written transition plan, the CSAC will undergo a number of structural modifications by the Board to improve accessibility. CSAC's existing warm-up pool will also be used by Respondents during the Olympic Games. The CSAC is an existing facility owned by the Board.

15. The Center is a "stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment," and is, therefore, a public accommodation within the meaning of Title III, 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(C), and a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 36.104. Because the Center is a non-residential facility whose operations affect commerce it is also a commercial facility within the meaning of Title III, 42 U.S.C. § 12181(2), and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.

16. The Center is a building, structure, site, or complex, and is, therefore, a "facility" within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 35.104 and is covered by Title II.

17. The Center, in both its Olympic and post-Olympic configurations, is being designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993, and is, therefore, a newly constructed facility within the meaning of Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.401.

18. Construction of the Center began after January 26, 1992, and the Stadium is, therefore, a newly constructed facility within the meaning of Title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12134(c) and 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(a).

19. The physical modifications that will be undertaken to convert the Center from its Olympic to its post-Olympic configuration constitute alterations as defined by Titles II and III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(2) and 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.151 and 36.402. See, 42 U.S.C. § 12132.

20. The CSAC is a multi-use student recreational center that contains locker rooms, racquetball and squash courts, and other physical recreation facilities, including an outdoor swimming pool that will be used as a warm-up pool during the Olympic Games. Except for those portions of the CSAC that will be utilized in operating the Center during the Olympic Games, the CSAC is not a subject of this Agreement.

21. The modifications being made by the Board to the CSAC pursuant to Georgia Tech's transition plan constitute alterations as defined by Title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12132 and 28 C.F.R. § 35.151.

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION

22. The Department has informed the Respondents that this matter was initiated by complaints filed with the Department by people with disabilities from the Atlanta metropolitan area, alleging that the Center was not being designed and constructed in compliance with the ADA. The complaints were investigated by the Disability Rights Section (formerly known as the Public Access Section and the Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act) and the Coordination and Review Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority granted by Sections 203 and 308(b) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12133 and 12188(b).

23. From 1993 through the present, the Department conducted an in-depth investigation (the Department's File No. DJ 202-19-17) into the design of the Center. The investigation included several meetings, many telephone conferences, an on-site visit, and the review of a vast number of design documents which were at various stages in the development process.

24. The Parties acknowledge that the design and construction of the Center has lasted a period of years and has involved modifications and refinements during the design and construction process. Notwithstanding such ongoing changes, Respondents cooperated with the Department's investigation by providing extensive design documents, some of which Respondents assert were interim "progress" drawings which had not yet been finalized. As a result, Respondents contend that a number of the issues raised by the Department during the investigation as asserted violations, would not have been included in the final construction of the facility.

25. The Department asserts that the Respondents have violated the new construction and alterations provisions of Titles II and III of the ADA, respectively, by designing, or by contracting with others to design the Center and/or to alter the CSAC so that, in both their Olympic and post-Olympic configurations, they would not comply with the new construction and alterations provisions of: (a) Titles II and III of the ADA; and (b) the Department's implementing regulations for Titles II and III, including the Standards for Accessible Design ("the Standards") incorporated into the regulations and found at Appendix A to 28 C.F.R. Part 36.

26. Notwithstanding the assertions made by the United States, the Respondents deny that they have violated the new construction or alterations provisions of Titles II and III of the ADA with respect to the Center. Further, the Respondents deny that they have violated the implementing regulations, including the Standards. Nothing in this Agreement shall constitute an admission of liability by Respondents.

27. Neither the making of this Agreement nor anything contained herein shall, in any way, be construed or considered to be an admission by either of the Respondents, or by any official, contractor or agent of either of the Respondents, of violation of any federal, state or local statute, any State or municipal fire safety or building code, or of any other wrongdoing or liability whatsoever.

28. The Parties have agreed to the terms of this Agreement in order to resolve the Department's investigation, to avoid litigation, and to resolve their disagreements concerning the interpretation of the ADA, which was enacted in 1990 and became effective in 1992.

AGREEMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE NEW CONSTRUCTION
AND ALTERATIONS PROVISIONS OF TITLES II AND III

29. The Respondents agree to the following provisions:

Accessible Route

General

a. To construct the Center so that the exterior accessible routes will have ground surfaces that are stable, firm and slip-resistant and do not collect standing water in accordance with Sections 4.1.2(1), 4.1.2(2), 4.1.2(4), 4.3.6, 4.5.1, 4.5.3 and 4.8.8 of the Standards.

b. To construct the Center or to modify the CSAC so that there is an exterior accessible route from the locker rooms to the warm-up pool that does not have cross-slopes greater than 1:50 in accordance with Sections 3.2, 4.1.2(2), 4.3.2, and 4.3.7 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 1.

Pool Equipment Level

c. To construct the Center so that an accessible route will be provided to the Pool Equipment Level below the pool deck in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(1), 4.3.2, 4.5.2, and 4.8 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 2.

Elevator Tower - Level 1

d. To construct the Center so that an accessible route will be provided to the elevator tower on Level 1 by removing vertical transitions that are greater than 1/4 inch in height in accordance with Sections 4.1.2(2), 4.3.2, and 4.5.2 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 3.

Doors

e. To construct the Center so that each interior door that is not required to be fire-rated requires no more than 5 pounds of force to open and so that each door closer is adjusted so that the door takes at least 3 seconds to close to a point 3 inches from the latch from an opening of 70 degrees in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.10, and 4.13.11(2) of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 4.

f. To construct the Center so that required doors afford sufficient clear maneuvering space to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(7) and 4.13.6 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 5.

Ramps

g. To construct the Center so that each pedestrian ramp has runs with a slope no greater than 1:12 in accordance with Sections 3.2, 4.1.2(1), 4.1.3(1), 4.1.3(5), 4.3.8, 4.5.2, and 4.8.2 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 6.

h. To construct the Center so that each pedestrian ramp is equipped with a handrail running along both sides of the ramp in accordance with Sections 4.1.2(2), 4.3.2, 4.8.5, and 4.26 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 7.

Elevators and Platform Lifts

i. To maintain the elevator at the Center so that a visible and audible signal indicating the arrival of an elevator is provided at each elevator hoistway on each floor in accordance with 28 C.F.R. § 36.211 and Sections 4.1.3(5), and 4.10.4 of the Standards.

j. To ensure that a key is provided at each entrance to every platform lift to allow for unassisted entry, operation, and exit from the lift by persons with disabilities in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(5), 4.11.1, 4.11.2, and 4.11.3 of the Standards.

Protruding Objects

k. With respect to the areas around and along the diving pool, ACOG will provide temporary cane detectable barriers around any protruding object hazards during the Olympic Games as referenced by Sections 4.1.2(3), 4.1.3(2), and 4.4.1 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 8.

l. With respect to the areas around and along the diving pool, ACOG will provide cane detectable barriers around any areas where clear headroom is reduced to less than 80 inches AFF, including but not limited to the area underneath the diving tower, in accordance with Sections 4.1.2(3), 4.1.3(2), and 4.4.2 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 9.

Reach Ranges

m. To construct the Center so that all controls and operating mechanisms required to be accessible by the Standards will be located within required accessible reach ranges for a front or side approach in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(13), 4.2.5, 4.2.6, and 4.27.3 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 10.

Visual Alarms

n. To construct the Center so that in rooms or areas where an audible alarm is provided, a visual alarm will also be provided in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(14), 4.28.1, and 4.28.3 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 11.

o. To construct the Center so that all single user toilet rooms will be equipped with a visual alarm as referenced by Sections 4.1.3(14), 4.28.1, and 4.28.3 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 12.

Toilet Rooms and Bathrooms

p. To construct the Center so that the water closet(s) required to be accessible by the Standards in each toilet room, bathroom, and shower room is mounted so that the top of the seat is between 17 and 19 inches above the finished floor in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.16.3, 4.17.2, 4.22.4, and 4.23.4 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 13.

q. To construct the Center so that, in each toilet room, bathroom, and shower room, the required clear floor space at the lavatories required by the Standards to be accessible is not interfered with by the swing of a toilet stall door in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.2.4, 4.19.3, 4.22.2, 4.22.3, 4.22.6, 4.23.3, and 4.23.6 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 14.

r. To construct the Center so that, in each toilet room, bathroom, and shower room that contains urinals, the required clear floor space at the urinals required by the Standards to be accessible is not interfered with by the swing of a toilet stall door in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.2.4, 4.18.3, 4.22.2, 4.22.3, 4.22.5, 4.23.3, and 4.23.5 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 15.

s. To construct the Center so that in each toilet room, bathroom, and shower room one of each type of control, dispenser, or other type of equipment provided is mounted so that its highest operable part is within the required reach ranges for front or side approach depending on the clear floor space provided in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.2.5, 4.2.6, 4.4.1, 4.22.7, 4.23.7, and 4.27.3 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 16.

t. To construct the Center so that each toilet room, bathroom, and shower room that contains a mirror contains at least one mirror mounted so that the bottom of its reflecting surface is not more than 40 inches above the finished floor in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.19.6, 4.22.6, and 4.23.6 of the Standards.

u. To construct the Center so that none of the hair/hand dryers, Swimming Suitmate units, or dispensers of any kind located on hall corridors, passageways or aisles or in any of the toilet rooms, bathrooms, or shower rooms is a protruding object without the presence of a cane detectable barrier in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(2) and 4.4.1 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 17.

Shower Stalls

v. To construct the Center so that each shower stall required to be accessible by the Standards is equipped with grab bars mounted so that the centerline of the grab bar is between 33 and 36 inches above the lowest point of the finished floor in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.21.4, and 4.23.8 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 18.

w. To construct the Center so that each shower stall required to be accessible by the Standards is equipped with controls that require no more than 5 pounds of force to operate in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.1.3(13), 4.21.5, 4.23.7, and 4.27.4 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 19.

Locker Rooms and Dressing Rooms

x. To construct the Center so that each locker room is equipped with at least one accessible locker of each type provided in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(12)(a), 4.25.1, and 4.25.3 of the Standards.

y. To construct the Center so that each locker required to be accessible by the Standards affords sufficient clear floor space and is equipped with a door that requires no more than 5 pounds of force to open in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(12), 4.1.3(13), 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6, 4.13.11(2), 4.25.2, 4.25.4, and 4.27.4 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 20.

z. To construct the Center so that each locker room or dressing room is equipped with at least one bench that is fixed to a wall, is mounted so that its surface is between 17 and 19 inches above the finished floor, and has a surface that is slip-resistant when wet in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(21), and 4.35.4 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 21.

Portable Toilets

aa. That, for all events occurring at the Center during the term of this Agreement for which single user portable toilets are used, at least five percent but not less than one unit in each cluster of the single user portable toilets utilized will be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities in accordance with the requirements set forth at Section 4.1.2(6) of the Standards.

Drinking Fountains

bb. To construct the Center so that each drinking fountain required to be accessible by the Standards provides people seated in wheelchairs with either a side approach or a front approach and sufficient knee clearance underneath the drinking fountain in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(10)(a), 4.15.5(1) and Figure 27 of the Standards.

Assistive Listening System

cc. To provide, during the Olympic Games, at the main competition pool, a temporary FM-based assistive listening system.

dd. To provide receivers, equal in number to 4 per cent of the total number of non-credentialed seating locations (including all fixed seats and wheelchair seating locations), for synchronized swimming. In the credentialed seating area, individualized accommodations will be made upon request.

Accessible Seating

Aisle-Transfer Seats

ee. In the post-Olympic configuration, to install permanent seating locations that have no armrests or are equipped with folding or removable armrests on the aisle side equal in number to at least one percent of the total seating; these seats are to be dispersed throughout the venue.
Number of Wheelchair Seating Locations

ff. To construct the Center so that, in both its Olympic and post-Olympic configurations, there are wheelchair seating locations in a number equal to at least one percent of the total number of seats provided in the main competition venue in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(19)(a), 4.33.2, 4.33.3, 4.33.4, and 4.33.5 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 22.

gg. To construct the Center so that, in its Olympic configuration, there are wheelchair seating locations in a number equal to at least one percent of the total number of seats provided in the water polo venue in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(19)(a), 4.33.2, 4.33.3, 4.33.4, and 4.33.5 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 23. This paragraph applies to the post-Olympic configuration only if the Board acquires the water polo pool and leaves that venue in place.

hh. To ensure that, during the Olympic Games, broadcasters or members of the press with disabilities will, upon request, be provided with accessible seating locations and work stations for use during Olympic events in both the main competition and water polo venues.

Provision of Line of Sight

ii. The United States contends that the Standards' requirement that comparable lines of sight be provided includes a requirement to provide wheelchair users with a line of sight over standing spectators. This contention is disputed. Nevertheless, the Respondents agree to construct, alter, and operate the Center so that, in both its Olympic and post-Olympic configurations, substantially all of the wheelchair seating locations will afford individuals seated in wheelchairs with a line of sight of the field of play when spectators in the rows in front of them stand, as referenced by Sections 4.1.3(19)(a) and 4.33.3 of the Standards and as set forth in the next Subparagraph. The Parties agree that the seating bowl will be constructed as shown in the attached Exhibits 24 and 25.

Line of Sight - Olympic Configuration

jj. In the Olympic configuration, the Respondents agree:

(1) To construct or alter the main pool seating bowl so that the wheelchair seating locations located in the lower cross-aisle of the permanent stands located on the south side of the main competition venue will afford people seated in wheelchairs with a line of sight of the field of play when spectators in the rows in front of them stand in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(19)(a) and 4.33.3 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibits 24 and 25.

(2) Upon request, to provide all credentialed media (broadcasters and press) with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs or have mobility impairments that prohibit climbing stairs with accessible seating locations or work stations at the upper or lower cross-aisle of the "permanent" stands on the south side of the main competition venue during all Olympic events.

(3) To construct the "temporary" stands on the north side of the main competition pool so that 60 wheelchair seating locations and 60 companion seats will be located in the lower of the two seating cross-aisles. These seating locations, which are located in the first row of seats, will afford spectators seated in wheelchairs with a line of sight that is at least comparable to that afforded to spectators who can stand as referenced by Sections 4.1.3(19)(a) and 4.33.3 of the Standards, and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 25. Spectators who use wheelchairs and their companions who have tickets indicating they are entitled to seating at the lower level of the north stands will be accommodated in the lower seating cross-aisle. In the event that seating in the lowest seating cross-aisle is not all occupied by spectators who use wheelchairs and their companions who have tickets for this location, spectators who use wheelchairs and their companions who have tickets for seats in the upper seating cross-aisle can be seated at the lower seating cross-aisle at their option and at no additional charge, until all of the wheelchair seating locations and companion seats in the lowest seating cross-aisle are filled by individuals who use wheelchairs and their companions.

(4) In the event that all of the wheelchair and companion seating locations in the lower seating cross-aisle are occupied by persons who use wheelchairs and their companions, additional spectators who use wheelchairs and their companions will be placed in the upper seating cross-aisle of the north stands. In order to provide these individuals with a line of sight to the field of play when spectators located in front of them stand, the Respondents agree to prohibit spectators from occupying the two seats directly in front of the upper seating cross-aisle wheelchair seating locations. In the event that the wheelchair seating locations in the upper seating cross-aisle are not used by spectators who use wheelchairs, the Respondents are permitted to have spectators occupy the seats in the row directly in front of the wheelchair seating locations in the second cross-aisle.

(5) To provide people who use wheelchairs with a line of sight to the field of play when spectators located in front of them stand in the non-credentialed seating of the water polo venue by agreeing to prohibit spectators from occupying the seats directly in front of the cross-aisles where the wheelchair seating locations are located. In the event that wheelchair seating locations in the non-credentialed seating of the water polo venue are not used by spectators who use wheelchairs, the Respondents are permitted to have spectators occupy the seats in the row directly in front of the wheelchair seating locations where no spectators who use wheelchairs are seated.

(6) Upon request, to provide all credentialed media (broadcasters and press) with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs or have mobility impairments that prohibit climbing stairs, with accessible seating locations or work stations in the cross-aisle of the credentialed seating areas in the water polo venue during all Olympic events.

(7) That, in the event that any spectators are relocated in order to accommodate the line of sight requirements of people seated in wheelchairs, the Respondents will take action reasonably necessary to ensure that the spectators with disabilities for whom the other spectators were relocated are not harassed at the event.

Line of Sight - Post-Olympic Configuration

kk. In the post-Olympic configuration, the Respondents agree:

(1) To maintain the structure of the seating bowl for the main competition pool as shown in Exhibit 24 so that the wheelchair seating locations located in the lower cross-aisle of the permanent stands located on the south side of the main competition venue will afford people seated in wheelchairs with a line of sight of the field of play when spectators in the rows in front stand in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(19)(a) and 4.33.3 of the Standards and as set forth in the attached Exhibit 26. After the Olympic Games, ACOG will remove the water polo pool, unless the Board of Regents decides to purchase the water polo pool. After the Olympic Games, ACOG will remove the temporary seating bowl of the water polo pool. If the Board of Regents decides to purchase the water polo pool, it will be responsible for providing a seating bowl that complies with the Standards.

(2) To provide wheelchair seating locations and permanently installed companion seats in a number equal to at least one percent of the total number of seats remaining in the post-Olympic configuration in the first cross-aisle of the south stands in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(19)(a), 4.33.2, 4.33.3, 4.33.4, and 4.33.5.

THE CSAC

ll. The Board agrees to undertake the modifications called for in Georgia Tech's transition plan regarding the CSAC so that:

(1) Each of the locker rooms, toilet rooms and bathrooms will be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities in accordance with Sections 4.1.3(11), 4.1.3(21), 4.22, 4.23, and 4.35 of the Standards.

(2) Hallways, corridors, and other routes through the facility provide individuals with disabilities with accessible routes and among those rooms, spaces, and areas that will be utilized during the Olympic Games in accordance with Section 4.3 of the Standards.

30. The United States' consent to this Agreement does not constitute any acknowledgement by the Department that the actions specified in Subparagraphs 29.n., o., cc., dd., hh., ii., and jj., and the relevant attached exhibits are sufficient to meet the ADA's requirements for new construction and alterations under Titles II and III. The Department agrees to these provisions solely in order to resolve this matter without resort to litigation.

31. Neither the making of this Agreement nor anything contained herein shall in any way be construed or considered to be an admission by the Respondents that the ultimate design of the Center, as constructed consistent with this Agreement, does not satisfy in every regard the requirements applicable to said Center pursuant to Titles II and III of the ADA and the applicable regulations.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE AGREEMENT

32. The Department may review compliance with the Agreement at any time until the Agreement's expiration. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any provision of it has been violated, the Department shall promptly advise the Respondents in writing of the nature of that violation, and, within thirty days of receipt by Respondents of said written notice from the Department, the Parties shall meet and confer in a good faith attempt to resolve the issue. In the event the Parties are not able to resolve this issue to the reasonable satisfaction of the Department, the Department may seek enforcement of the Agreement or any provision thereof, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, pursuant to Paragraph 38 of this Agreement.

33. During its investigation, the Department has reviewed numerous design drawings for the Center in its Olympic configuration, as well as part of Georgia Tech's transition plan regarding the CSAC, and undertook a site investigation of those portions of the permanent facility that had been constructed as of November 1995. Specific selected design drawings for the Olympic configuration are incorporated in the appropriate subparagraphs of Paragraph 29. The Parties agree that the level of accessibility provided in the "as built" drawings, that will be submitted by ACOG to the Department, excluding all modifications made after the Department's November 1995 site investigation ("the baseline drawings") as modified by Paragraph 29 constitute compliance with the Standards, except as referenced in Paragraph 30 of this Agreement. Respondent agrees that the "as built" drawings will accurately reflect the design of the Center as it was constructed. Prior to ACOG's submission of the "as-built" drawings to the Department, the design drawings submitted to the Department in January 1995, as modified by all subsequent change orders, field orders, directives, and punch list items implemented prior to the Department's November 1995 site investigation not discussed in Paragraph 29 of this Agreement, will constitute the baseline drawings. ACOG agrees to submit the "as built" drawings to the Department within ten (10) days of receipt from the contractor. Respondent(s) agrees not to decrease accessibility in the event that different drawings are used in actual construction of any room or area, except as addressed under Paragraph 34.

34. In the event that Respondent(s) plans to make any changes in the design of any aspect of the Center that (1) are covered by the baseline drawings as modified by Paragraph 29 of this Agreement and (2) may materially reduce the level of accessibility for individuals with disabilities provided by the design of the Center (as reflected in the baseline drawings and the exhibits to and design drawings incorporated in Paragraph 29 of the Agreement, Respondent(s) shall notify the Department of the changes being planned, the expected timing of the changes, and a very brief description of the reason for making the change. Respondents shall make every reasonable effort to notify the Department of the planned changes as promptly as possible. Included in the planned design changes that are covered by this section are changes that could reasonably be considered to materially reduce the level of accessibility required by the baseline drawings as modified by Paragraph 29 of the Agreement and their underlying interpretations, even if Respondent(s) does not believe that the change would actually have that effect. Changes covered by this Paragraph are those that occur or will occur after the commencement of the Agreement and during the effective dates of the Agreement. The basis for determining whether a change takes place or the effect of such a change are the design drawings referenced herein including the baseline drawings.

35. In notifying the Department about any changes being planned, Respondent(s) may request an expedited review by the Department and the Department will make every reasonable effort, subject to its other work demands, to advise Respondent(s) as promptly as possible whether the Department views the changes as a breach of this Agreement that it would seek to prevent. As soon as the Department determines it will not object to a particular planned design change, it will notify Respondent(s) as promptly as possible of that determination. In the event the Department determines that such a change would amount to a breach of the Agreement, said change will be subject to Paragraph 32 of the Agreement.

36. Respondent(s) may, but are not required to, wait for the Department to decide whether it will object to a particular planned change before making the change; however, in the event that a change is made before the Department's determination and the Department subsequently objects, the Parties agree that this will be treated by the Department as an asserted breach of the Agreement, and the Parties will follow the procedures set forth in Paragraph 32 of the Agreement. In the event that Respondent(s) decides to go forth with construction of a planned change prior to receiving the Department's determination regarding that planned change, or in spite of the Department objecting to such change, such action by Respondent(s) shall not in any way impact or be used as a presumption to limit the remedies available to the Department to ensure that the Respondent(s) meets the requirements of the Agreement, including, inter alia, reconstruction. Nor shall Respondent(s) proceeding to make the change prior to receiving the Department's determination, or despite the Department objecting to the change, constitute evidence of any bad faith on the part of the Respondent(s). This paragraph does not apply to design modifications covered by Paragraph 37 of this Agreement. Respondent(s) remains committed to the design and construction of an accessible Center that meets the requirements of the ADA and the Standards and will make every reasonable effort to minimize changes that diminish the accessibility of the Center, or which require invocation of this Paragraph. In this regard, Respondent(s) acknowledges that the Center will be substantially completed in approximately sixty days after execution of the Agreement and expect that, for a project of its scope, only a minimal number of changes will be made to the design drawings incorporated in Paragraph 29 and the baseline drawings with respect to the Olympic configuration.

37. The Department recognizes that hosting the Olympic Games will require some operational flexibility. In the event that the operation of the Olympic Games requires the Respondents to make modifications to either a part of the design of the facility or an operational policy or procedure, such modifications will not be deemed by the Department to violate the Agreement, provided that the new design or policy: 1) continues to comply with all relevant provisions of the ADA and its implementing regulations, consistent with the interpretations thereof underlying the baseline drawings as modified by Paragraph 29 and its exhibits; and 2) results in the provision of equal or greater accessibility to people with disabilities. The Department agrees that it will not consider the removal by ACOG of temporary facilities or items from the Aquatic Center after the Olympic Games as a decrease in accessibility under this Paragraph so long as it includes the removal of all such temporary facilities.

38. In the event the Department seeks enforcement of this Agreement or any provision of it in the United States District Court, the Parties agree and hereby stipulate:

a. That the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has personal and subject matter jurisdiction over this Agreement, the matters set forth in it, and the Parties to it;

b. That, as to Respondents' Agreement to undertake the actions expressly described in Paragraph 29 of this Agreement and the baseline drawings, the Department shall be entitled to enforcement of said terms of the Agreement and, in the event the Court concludes that Respondents, or any of them, have failed to fulfill their commitments in Paragraph 29 hereof and the baseline drawings, such breach shall be treated as if it had been a violation under Subsection 308(b)(2)(C)(ii) of the ADA, and said Respondents shall be liable, in the Court's discretion, to the United States for such equitable and/or monetary relief as is appropriate under Section 308(b)(2)(A) and (B) of the ADA, and, also in the Court's discretion, for a civil penalty, under Subsection 308(b)(2)(C)(ii). In considering what amount of civil penalty, if any, is appropriate, the Court shall consider the Respondent(s)' good faith efforts or attempts to comply with the ADA, as articulated in Section 308(b)(5) of the ADA.

39. Failure by any one of the Parties to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision of it with regard to any deadline or any other provision contained herein shall not be construed as a waiver by that Party of any right to do so.

40. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained therein may be made available to any person. The Respondents, at their option, shall either provide a copy of the Agreement upon request or refer any person who inquires about obtaining a copy of this Agreement to the Department at the address and telephone number indicated after the Department's signature lines on this document. Notwithstanding any other language in this Agreement, the Parties acknowledge that, because of security reasons, design and construction drawings of the Center which are referred to herein and attached hereto as exhibits will not be released pursuant to this paragraph until after the expiration of this Agreement pursuant to the Department's letter of November 9, 1994, attached hereto as Exhibit 27.

41. This Agreement shall be binding on the Respondents and their successors in interest, if any, and each Respondent has a duty to notify all such successors in interest of these obligations and to include in all future documents transferring any right or interest in the Center any obligations to comply with this Agreement not retained by the Respondent(s).

42. If any provision of this Agreement is affected by any future proceeding in bankruptcy, the Parties shall jointly apply to the Bankruptcy Court for withdrawal to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for resolution of the matter.

43. This Agreement, including the exhibits attached hereto and the drawings referenced herein, constitutes the entire Agreement among the Parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. In the event a court of competent jurisdiction concludes that any part of this Agreement is unenforceable, such portion shall be severed from this Agreement and all other portions shall remain enforceable.

44. This Agreement is limited to the Center and does not apply to any other design or construction project of any Respondent. The Agreement covers all aspects of the design and construction of the Center in its Olympic configuration, including all additions or changes made during the term of this Agreement. To the extent expressly stated herein, this Agreement also covers the modification of the Center into its post-Olympic configuration, including all additions or changes made during the term of this Agreement. This Agreement does not affect any continuing responsibility of the Respondents, or either of them, to comply with the ADA, where applicable, concerning: (a) any duties of the Respondents with regard to other venues being designed, constructed, modified or operated for use during the Olympic Games; (b) any responsibilities the Respondents may incur toward their employees under Titles I and II of the Act; and (c) any ADA responsibility the Respondents have for the Center where said responsibility is not covered by the provisions of Paragraph 29 of this Agreement or the baseline drawings, except any changes or modifications in the design of the Center after the execution but during the term of this Agreement. With respect to any litigation between the Parties to this Agreement which may arise over any of the issues described in Subparagraphs (a) or (b) of this Paragraph 44, the Parties shall be free to argue any principles of law and shall not be bound by the terms or underlying principles of this Agreement.

45. The Parties hereby represent and acknowledge that this Agreement is given and executed voluntarily and is not based upon any representation by any of the Parties to another Party as to the merits, legal liability, or value of any claims of the Parties or any matters related thereto.

46. The Parties acknowledge that they have been afforded an opportunity to consider this Agreement and the terms and conditions set forth herein, and that they have read and understood the terms of the Agreement and have been given an opportunity to consult with their respective counsel prior to executing this Agreement.

47. Where reduced-sized design drawings are attached hereto as exhibits, if they are merely representative of full-sized design drawings, copies are to be maintained by each party. In the event of a discrepancy between a full-sized design drawing and a reduced-sized version of the same document, the full-sized version is to be considered authoritative.

48. Provided no changes are made after the date hereof to the design contained or referenced in an exhibit set forth in Paragraph 29, if there is any disagreement between the Parties concerning the requirements of the Agreement with respect to (1) the referenced sections of the ADA, its implementing regulations or Standards and (2) any listed exhibit, then the exhibit shall govern.

49. A signer of this document, or of any exhibit hereto, in a representative capacity for MAOGA, ACOG, the Board or the Department, represents that he or she is authorized to bind such entity to this Agreement or the respective exhibit, as may be appropriate.

50. In any instance where notice is required to be given to any or all of the Parties to this agreement, such notice shall be provided in writing, sent via certified or registered U.S. Mail, return receipt requested, to the following individuals in their capacity as representatives of the Parties to this agreement:

ACOG:

Josie A. Alexander, Esq.
Alexander & Associates
230 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Suite 1400
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Horace H. Sibley, Esq.
King & Spalding
191 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-1763


MAOGA:

C. Geoffrey Weirich, Esq.
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
Suite 2400
600 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30308


The Board:

Roland Matson, Esq.
Senior Assistant Attorney General
State of Georgia Department of Law
40 Capitol Square, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1300


The Department

John L. Wodatch, Section Chief
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738


51. This Agreement may be executed in several counterparts, each of which shall be an original and shall constitute one and the same instrument. All exhibits hereto are hereby incorporated by specific reference into this Agreement, and their terms are made a part of this Agreement as though fully recited herein.

52. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, this Agreement shall remain in effect for six months after ACOG's modifications to the Center's post-Olympic configuration have been completed or for six months after a final certificate of occupancy has been issued, whichever comes later, and shall expire at that time. The Respondents agree to notify the Department of the completion of modifications and/or the issuance of a final certificate of occupancy no later than two weeks after the date on which it is issued. In the event of any failure to provide the Department with this notification within two weeks of the date of issuance of the final certificate of occupancy or the completion of modifications, this Agreement shall remain in effect for six months after the date on which the Department receives such notification, and shall expire at that time.

53. As a result of its approval authority, the Department contends that MAOGA is responsible for the design and construction of the Center. MAOGA denies that it is responsible for either the design or construction of the Center within the meaning of Title II of the ADA. Notwithstanding this dispute between MAOGA and the Department over MAOGA's alleged legal responsibility for the Center's design and construction, and in order to avoid litigation over this coverage issue notwithstanding the resolution of the substantive issues described herein, the Parties have agreed that MAOGA will execute this Agreement, but will reserve all its rights to argue that it has no Title II responsibility regarding the Center in the event there is any enforcement litigation concerning this Agreement. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, in the event of any such enforcement litigation the Department expressly agrees that: (1) there shall be no prejudice to MAOGA from executing this Agreement, and (2) the Department shall make no argument therein that MAOGA is estopped or otherwise prevented from arguing that it is not legally responsible for the accessibility of the Center.

54. By executing this Agreement jointly, none of the Respondents commits to undertake or be responsible for actions which are beyond that Respondent's authority as an owner or operator of the Center at the relevant point in time. Respondent(s) acknowledges that, as to each undertaking in this Agreement, one or the other or both of them is responsible.

55. All Parties to this Agreement shall support it fully. To the extent that the Department receives a complaint under Title II or Title III of the ADA which challenges an aspect of the design, construction or operation of the Center which is permitted under this Agreement, the Department shall not seek relief on behalf of such individual under either Title II or Title III.

56. The failure by any one party to sign this Agreement does not void the Agreement as between the parties who are signatories.

57. The date this Agreement commences is the date of the last signature below.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have caused this Agreement to be executed and sealed.
READ CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING.


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

JANET RENO
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice



Date:


By:
DEVAL L. PATRICK
Assistant Attorney General
KERRY ALAN SCANLON
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division



Date:


JOHN L. WODATCH
Chief
L. IRENE BOWEN
Deputy Chief
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035-6738
(202) 307-2229


ATLANTA COMMITTEE FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES, INC.



Date:


By:
A.D. FRAZIER, JR.
As: Chief Operating Officer
250 Williams Street, Suite 6000
P.O. Box 1996
Atlanta, Georgia 30301-1996 USA
(404) 224-1996

Approved and Recommended for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, Inc.:



Date:


By:
JOSIE A. ALEXANDER, ESQ.
Georgia Bar No. 008886
ALEXANDER & ASSOCIATES
230 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Suite 1400
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 614-0001



MARVA JONES BROOKS, ESQ.
Georgia Bar No. 85150
ARNALL GOLDEN & GREGORY
2800 One Atlantic Center
1201 W. Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30309-3400
(404) 873-8500


HORACE H. SIBLEY, ESQ.
Georgia Bar No. 644800
KING & SPALDING
191 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-1763
(404) 572-4600

METROPOLITAN ATLANTA OLYMPIC GAMES AUTHORITY



Date:


By:
RICHARD MONTEILH
As: Executive Director
250 Williams Street
Suite 6200
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 332-9791


Approved and Recommended for the
Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority:


Date:


By:
C. GEOFFREY WEIRICH, ESQ.
Georgia Bar No. 746455
WILLIAM E. EASON, ESQ.
Georgia Bar No. 237600
PAUL, HASTINGS, JANOFSKY & WALKER
Suite 2400
600 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
(404) 815-2400



THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA



Date:


By:

Title:

Address:





Attest:

Name:

Title:





Return to Olympic Aquatic Center Settlement

Cases & Matters by ADA Title Coverage | Legal Documents by Type & Date | ADA Home Page

February 5, 2001