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Civic Center adding ADA public restrooms
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The Manteca City Council chambers could have Americans with Disabilities Act compliant restrooms by October.

The council at Tuesday’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., is being asked to authorize the purchase of a portable restroom building for $92,200.

Once all site work is factored in as well as the cost of installing the structure, the final price tag may reach $250,000.

It is the last major phase of bringing the council chambers up to current ADA requirements.

The restrooms will go on a grassy area immediately north of the council chambers and a walkway connecting the police department with the public works/city manager’s wing at the Civic Center complex.

Fifteen months ago the city completed the bulk of the $700,000 project that included technology upgrades.

The work means:

handicap access now meets all federal and state requirements from the parking lot to the speaker’s podium.

those in the audience plus those watching via Comcast Channel 97 are able to clearly hear the council conducting the public’s business.

the audience is able to view documents that are presented to the council via various flat screens.

in the event of overflow crowds those standing in the hallways will be able to hear what is going on inside the council chambers.

The remodel was long overdue given the deterioration of the audio system that was 25 years old. Major changes also have occurred in handicapped accessibility laws since the Civic Center was built in the 1980s.

City officials expect the current Civic Center location to handle municipal needs for at least 20 to 30 years as there is room to expand near the Parks and Recreation complex. 

The council had originally wanted to keep the 70 plus chairs that the audience used for 25 years. But if they did would have been out of compliance with new ADA standards. New ADA standards frown upon permanent seating so the configuration can be easily changed if there are a larger number of people in wheelchairs that need to be accommodated.

The chairs now being used can be hooked together like a long string of Legos to form rows.

The sloping floor was leveled. Instead of two entrances — one of the west side and the other on the east side — there is now one main entrance facing the south.

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

Improvements also were made to the parking lot with access ramps and handrails installed.