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About Town: Town Office Building Renovation Update

Ramps and bathrooms and counters, oh my!

The other day, our Patrick Goddard and Project Manager Mark Barrett didn’t just give me information on the Stone Building.

They also gave me an update on the renovations at the , which now sports backhoes and other large equipment, all behind a chain link fence that now barracades what was once a stone entrance.

Although the interior is getting a facelift, the work is also fulfilling ADA compliance requirements.

ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, which allows everyone access in, out and within public buildings.

As Patch Columnist and Selectmen Chair noted in his column, we do have ground access to our buildings, but getting there requires stairs. has a ramp and now the will too.

The ramp, Patrick Goddard said, was designed with input from the and the .

Accessibility doesn’t just mean getting into a building. Once inside, it must be user friendly – for everyone – including those who walk, use a wheelchair or a cane.

If you’ve been inside Town Hall, you’ve noticed the new paint and that the bathrooms are now accessible. There’s also a new hallway on the second floor, one that made extra space for another accessible bathroom, Mark said.

The transaction counters in the Town Clerk's and other offices are now at compliant with ADA requirements. If you use a wheelchair the counters are just the right height – something that was lacking.

A sprinkler system in the addition and a fire alarm upgrade are also on the agenda, Mark said. Good to know – and have.

Patrick said they aren’t doing anything to the Board of Selectmen’s office or other spots on the second floor, because they were renovated a few years back.

“It’s going well,” Patrick said, adding that “The employees are receptive to the inconvenience of the move and have been very helpful.

Patch and Town Manager Carl Valente’s Tuesday reports will keep you updated.

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