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Better access for handicapped costing $475K

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POSTED September 19, 2013 12:50 a.m.

B y DENNIS WYATT

The Bulletin

Longer microphone stems have corrected shortcomings in the new Manteca council chambers’ $225,000 high tech upgrade that include an audio component.

It means those in the audience as well as those listening at home  on Comcast Channel 97 can clearly hear council members, department heads, and the public when they speak.

To make it as easy for handicapped individuals to attend a council meeting, though is going  to take a little bit more.

 The council on Tuesday awarded a $475,300 contract to Diede Construction to bring the chambers up to the latest American Disabilities Act standards.

 It will involve a major make-over of the floors and the entrances to make sure those in wheelchairs and with other handicaps can easily and safely access the chambers.

The slope in the chambers will be eliminated and replaced with a level floor.

Instead of two entrances — one of the west side and the other on the east side — there will be one main entrance.

It will be created on the southern side of the building. It will require removing glass display cases inside the council chambers as well as the existing planter outside the building. A glass encased lobby will be created with access from either the east or west.

The new entrance will include wider doors that open automatically with a push of a button.

The existing doors will be sealed off to allow for storage as well as a new high-low water fountain to accommodate the handicapped.

An access ramp complete with handrail will lead to the dais to accommodate staff members or elected leaders who may be handicapped.

Work should be completed by January 2014.

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