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Manteca Legion post needs ADA upgrades
The American Legion Post at 220 East Yosemite Ave. needs major ADA renovations. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The McFall-Grisham American Legion Post 247 in downtown Manteca has a daunting task.

The 254-member strong post needs to make American with Disabilities Act improvements to the building next to PG&E’s office that has served community veterans since the 1920s.

The building is next to impossible to access using a wheelchair. And the only way handicapped members — or guests — can access bathrooms located “upstairs” by the stage is to use a walker but they would still need help on the stairs. Even if someone could help them manage the steps by pulling up a wheelchair the passage is too small for a wheel chair to fit. Then there is the issue of the bathroom itself that is way too small for use by the handicapped.

Since the project would require eliminating the stage as well as bringing the kitchen to ground level, Post Commander Bob Gonzalez said the game plan is to extend the building by 30 feet. The tab for the work is projected to reach $300,000.

“We are working with the city to see if we can get some help,” Gonzalez said of the building where last decade the city invested $30,000 to create a veterans plaza to compliment the nearby Yosemite mural since the Legion Hall is used for community events in downtown Manteca.

At the same time Post 249 is launching a series of fundraisers.

Next up is a steak and all-you-can-eat oyster dinner on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Manteca Senior Center. Tickets are $45. They will be available at the Legion’s booth at the upcoming Pumpkin Fair in downtown Manteca or by calling Gonzalez at 612.6954.

“A lot of people confuse the two veterans’ organizations,” Gonzalez said of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Legion membership is open to all who have served in the military. The VFW is open to those who served in the military in a war zone including South Korea since a peace treaty was never signed with North Korea.

The city has assisted the VFW by building and leasing the $1.3 million Moffat Community Center that will serve as the VFW Post home as well as a veteran center.

The ramp will be built in such a manner to access a side entrance. The hall, which currently can seat 110 people, would accommodate upwards of 150 once the stage is removed and the back wall extended 30 feet.

Gonzalez noted the hall gets significant community use due to its size and location.

Most other available halls rent for over $1,000 a pop.

“This is a perfect size for many events such as wedding receptions,” Gonzalez said.

The rent is around $450.

The land was provided to the Legion by the Grisham family. For some reason if the Legion post ceases to exist, Gonzalez said it would go to the Legion District serving Northern California based in San Francisco.