Contractor to install ramp so Norwich Tech student can graduate with class

Norwich — A contractor working pro bono is expected to install a handicapped accessible ramp at the Norwich Technical High School stage Tuesday so biotechnology graduate Kyle Tempesta can cross the stage to receive his diploma with his Class of 2018 classmates at Thursday's graduation.

Tempesta, 18, of Montville, has LCHAD deficiency, an inherited genetic condition, and uses a wheelchair. He and his family sought public help through Facebook two weeks ago to ensure that school officials would honor the request he made in January that he be able to receive his diploma on stage. School officials initially told Tempesta that a ramp could not be installed in time for Thursday’s ceremony.

Peter Yazbak, director of communications for the state Department of Education, said Monday that Amramp CT/Eastern NY franchise owner Bob Danek confirmed that the company would provide a ramp at no charge.

Tempesta and his mother, Michelle Pope Tempesta, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Amramp was called in the second attempt to install a ramp in time for graduation, Yazbak said. On Friday, representatives from a different company that had offered to install a ramp told school officials that the style ramp being proposed would not fit the space. The ramp would be too steep, and could not be lengthened without blocking the emergency exit, Yazbak said.

If Amramp’s design also couldn’t work, school officials were considering some way to lower the stage to make the shorter ramp work. But that will not be necessary, Yazbak said.

Yazbak told The Day on June 8 that school administrators had approached the school’s carpentry department in May about building a ramp in-house, but were told there wouldn’t be enough time to construct it before graduation.

c.bessette@theday.com

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