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Architect presents assessment to county on senior center


By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

An architect hired by the county has completed an assessment examining the repairs needed to get the Montgomery County Senior Citizens Center back into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

That architect, Kirk Donges of TSHD Architects in Portsmouth, Ohio, inspected the building June 21 along with representative of the Gateway Area Development District, the Dept. of Aging and Independent Living and the Montgomery County Fiscal Court.

The building was found to be out of compliance with the ADA in May after officials received a complaint about the building.

“We are working with the county to draft and submit a Community Development Block (CDBG) application by July 2,” Josh Farrow, executive director at the GADD, said last week. “We are currently working with the architect to fine-tune the scope of the work and cost estimate for the application.”

Donges noted in his assessment that a number of items would be needed to bring the center into compliance.

He reported that parking and access are the largest repair need.
Donges reported that the ramp in the back of the building far exceeds the ADA requirement for slope. He said the parking area is sufficient, but from visual inspection it exceeds the slope for ADA spaces.
Donges also reported that the slope of the handicap spaces needs repair, which will only be confirmed with a topographical survey to be completed as part of the project.

On the upper level, Donges said a space is needed for at least one van accessible and one car accessible spots.

“Per our discussion, if the large tree can be removed (per the deed) these two spots could be located in the front yard near the small ramp to the center,” he says in the assessment.

Based on the visual inspection, Donges noted that there are roughly seven spots along the side of the center. He said this area could be restriped to locate the two required spots in the area if necessary.
Donges also reported that the handrails in the front of the building do not meet ADA standards.

“We would suggest these handrails be replaced as part of the project,” Donges said.

The interior inspection, according to the assessment, found the need for a new ADA accessible restroom. It determined that a corner of the music room could be utilized, with access through an existing closet door.
A possible second location identified in the assessment, would be the back office, which could be divided into an office, and the new restroom if this location was chosen.

Donges also suggested that the panic hardware on the main door be replaced with appropriate ADA compliant panic hardware with the exit signage being replaced with emergency lighting.

“This is noted as the building inspector will require this when he does inspection during construction,” Donges said.
The Senior Center is located at 302 W. Main St.

The house was willed to the county for use as a senior citizens center by the late Mary Finneran in 1974.

The fiscal court recently approved a resolution authorizing the county to apply for up to $500,000 in CDBG grants toward the project.
The county would have a 15 percent match on any such project.