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Patron finds wheelchair ramp at St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre covered with bird poop

The wheelchair ramp at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre on Friday, when Joanne MacDonald had to wheel over pigeon poop to pick up tickets at the box office.
The wheelchair ramp at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre on Friday, when Joanne MacDonald had to wheel over pigeon poop to pick up tickets at the box office. - Contibuted Photo

When Joanne MacDonald went to pick up tickets at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre recently, she found herself in a crappy situation.

MacDonald had to wheel her wheelchair over a ramp covered with pigeon poop, and touch rails also covered in the bird waste.

It looked like the droppings had been there for a while, she said.

“I was disappointed, disgusted,” she said. “I had no option but to wheel through. It was not a fun thing to do.”

She wheeled over the ramp to the main entrance to go to the box office Friday.

“They did a nice job of putting the ramp there. … People are going to use it — you would expect it to be well maintained,” she said, adding the ramp is only a couple of years old and should be regularly cleaned just as steps are.

MacDonald said she mentioned the issue to a staff member in the box office and was referred to someone in charge, who suggested a pigeon may have been roosting above the ramp, but that the situation would be cleaned up.

“If (a pigeon) was nesting there, it should have been taken care of immediately,” she said.

The poop got on the wheels of her chair — risking transferring the germ-filled waste to her home — as well as on her hands and clothes from touching the rails.

Officials at the Department of Transportation and Works, which has maintenance responsibility for the facility, told The Telegram the ramp was cleaned on Monday.

The ramp was poop-free when MacDonald attended convocation there in early June.

But with convocation attracting throngs of family of Memorial University graduating students, the centre was spiffed up to look its best.

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