Rollins Leaves Mark With Accessibility Project

Like many Arkansas Tech University students, Tyler Rollins of Bearden is passionate about the opportunities for competition afforded by the campus intramural sports program.

That’s why you’d often find Rollins, a spring 2017 graduate of Tech, at the campus recreation fields, coaching his friends in flag football and Ultimate Frisbee.

Rollins’ passion became much more accessible late in his undergraduate career because of a project that provides a custom solution for people in wheelchairs.

Luke Duffield of Blackstone Construction, Mobley Concrete Company and Duffield Gravel led a volunteer project by local businesses that created a path paved with conscientious concrete that allows people with disabilities the access they need to enjoy intramural sports at Arkansas Tech.

“This provides ease of access and opportunity,” said Rollins. “If I can get to it, I can do it. This bridges that gap. I can coach and watch. This provides independence. It’s awesome that it was a collaborative effort by so many hands.”

Jim Bowden of Bowden Specialties and Morgan Barrett of Barrett and Associates also lent their professional expertise to the project.

Among the distinctive features of the path is its “S” style pattern, which was created at Rollins’ advice based upon ease of access.

Duffield said the project could not have been successful without Rollins’ input.

“Tyler and Morgan drew everything out,” said Duffield. “We asked Tyler about the proper width. We told him to throw out the minimums…tell us what works best. He thought about things we hadn’t considered because he lives it every day.”

With his Bachelor of Science degree in recreation and park administration in hand, Rollins has accepted a position as assistant superintendent for The Center, a multipurpose community center owned and operated by the City of Bryant.

Photographed: Tyler Rollins receives congratulations from Arkansas Tech University faculty member Dr. Theresa Herrick during spring 2017 commencement ceremonies. 

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