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Handicap access improvements for town office approved for bidding

Richard D. L. Fulton

(1/9) The Thurmont Board of Commissioners voted at their January 6 meeting to seek bids for improvements regarding handicapped access at the new town office at 615 East Main Street

In a 3-0 votes, Commissioner Martin Burns absent, the board elected to have the proposal finalized by staff and advertised for bids to complete the work.

The board initially voted to address those improvements that did not include adjusting the doorway from the handicapped-enhanced porch and the bathrooms, but decided to incorporate those aspects into the final bid documents, although the specifics were not yet available for the January 6 meeting.

Board President John Kinnaird provided a general overview of the work proposed to bring the handicap access attributes of the new town office (to be located in an existing structure) up to standards.

The proposed ramp, he said, "is going to be a block wall filled with concrete, and underneath of it will be compacted fill. Some areas will have over six inches of concrete."

"Basically what we have out there right now is going to be removed," he said. "This (the new construction) will be an up-to-code version of the existing ramp on the side of the building."

Kinnaird said the present ramp is "going to be demolished, and part of the porch is going to have to be adjusted to accommodate the ramp as it comes up and goes on the porch."

"Thatís a wooden porch so that will have to coming out and then itís going to be replaced with a concrete ramp that will run onto the porch. Then weíll have to raise the porch at the front door to accommodate wheelchairs going directly into the door," he stated.

"Theyíve (engineering) got it drawn retaining front steps, which I think is probably a good idea, and a second set of steps on the side of the building, which is probably a good idea also, so youíll have a choice of walking up the ramp or walking up the stairs at the side or coming to the front of the building and going up the stairway (when complete), he said.

The overall porch will not be replaced, only the area affected by the proposed changes, Kinnaird stated. "The rest of the wooden porch is solid and seems to be in good condition. We can let it go."

He also noted that, "They donít have the door details done yet or the bathroom details done yet," but expected those to be available in time to incorporate those changes in the advertised bid package.

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