"When the United Church was erected in 1892, no one considered the need for special access requirements to the building or restrooms," Ralph Pace said when commenting on the need for ADA (Americans with Disability Act) compliance.
Consequently, the Church Executive Board requested its preservationist Architects, Keefe and Wesner, to analyze how the Church may comply with both the access and restroom requirements of the ADA.
After conducting a site survey, Keefe and Wesner proposed the installation of a mini elevator, construction of a ramp, and the addition of new restroom facilities to satisfy ADA compliance. The estimated cost for this is in the range of $125,000 to 165,000.
According to Pace, funding to support such a project is beyond the scope of the present restoration plan. "We never realized that ADA compliance would be so expensive," he said. "But, given both state and federal law, we have no alternative but to seek funding for this project within the next one or two years. I just hope that we can persuade donors that this is a critical need."
No implementation plans have been approved by the Executive Board pending a clearer definition of costs and funding sources.