It took more than 50 years before the MRPS Hall got more than an interior upgrade.
And starting this week, the city’s largest rental space – and one of its oldest non-profit organizations – will sport a completely different exterior view after three-months of rennovations.
Gone are the iconic steps that used to wrap around the corner of the building’s exterior, and added is a modern foyer with wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and a storage space for the tables and chairs needed to outfit the sprawling campus.
A new wheelchair ramp that faces Grant Street is along one side of the building, and stairs lead up to the new doors that were constructed with accessibility in mind.
According to MRPS leasing agent and director Alyce Machado Luis, the plans were submitted to the City of Manteca in December of 2013 but contractors didn’t begin the work until the end of September.
The main ballroom – the most sought-after of the three rentable spaces – has been unusable since the overhaul began.
“I think 1961 was the last time that anything major like this was done,” Machado Luis said. “It’s been six years since the floor was replaced in the main ballroom and that has since become the most sought after of the three spaces. It’s just another step towards making the building accessible to everybody who wants to use it.”
While other Downtown Manteca businesses have actually had no choice in whether they wanted to become ADA-compliant, the hall – which is owned and operated by the Manteca-Ripon Pentacost Society – put in the work order not because of pending litigation, but after several years of planning the step.
The building will hold its first event tonight when local comedian, and MRPS Director, Chris Teicheira, hosts his second Christmas comedy show in as many years.
The annual Pretending to Care Christmas Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.