Lift will restore handicapped access to Black Lick fire hall
Construction work intended to make the Black Lick Fire Hall more accessible to individuals with mobility challenges should be finished in plenty of time for November's general election.
The fire hall has served as a polling place for more than 20 years, according to Indiana County's chief clerk, Robin Maryai. But, for this past spring's primary election, volunteers had to help voters get into the building to cast ballots after an entrance ramp was dismantled.
Fire department president Mike Sheriff said the wheelchair ramp that had provided access to the hall fell into disrepair and had to be removed this past spring.
“We had a ramp there and it got so bad we had to tear it out before someone got hurt,” Sheriff said. “We had to get rid of it.”
After pricing concrete ramps and factoring in maintenance costs and lifespan for a wooden ramp, an enclosed addition housing stairs and a vertical platform lift emerged as the most logical solution. The project is being funded using Burrell Township's allotment of $68,000 in Community Development Block Grant entitlement funds, according to LuAnn Zak of the county's Office of Planning and Development.
Sheriff said, in addition to the accessibility benefits during elections and everyday operations, the lift will be an asset if the hall is ever pressed into duty as an emergency shelter during a disaster.
“It will even have the capability of a battery backup with a generator to power up the battery if it goes dead,” he noted.
C&C Construction of Penn Run was awarded the bid for the 288-square-foot addition, stairs and wheelchair lift. The addition and stairs should be completed by the end of August, Morrow said. The wheelchair lift from Access Elevator of Pittsburgh could take an additional four to six weeks to be built and installed.
The state Department of Labor and Industry will need to inspect and certify the lift annually after its installation.
“They won't have to worry about snow removal, maintenance of the ramp, safety issues,” said Dave Morrow, of the county Office of Planning and Development. “They were kind of restricted as far as the property limits that would allow them to do a ramp, and a ramp would have been expensive. There would have been the need for approximately 58 linear feet of ramp to meet the code requirements for slope. To travel 58 feet on a ramp when you can just travel 50 inches vertically, it was kind of a no-brainer.”
Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Indiana Area School District contends with 2nd bomb threat
- Small volunteer group has big impact helping homeless, hungry in Indiana County