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Athens library gearing up for accessibility project

Nov 27, 2020 6:00 am
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Athen's D.R. Evarts Library is preparing for a long-anticipated $1-million project to improve accessibility for patrons. Set to start in the spring of 2021, the plan includes adding ramp access to the 113-year-old building, as well as an elevator and restroom improvements. “As was typical in 1907, our library was not built to be accessible by people with mobility challenges, wheelchair users or parents with strollers,” D.R. Evarts Library Board of Trustees President Kathy Jackson said. “Our board has been working to raise the funds and find grant opportunities to make our library more accessible to all our Athens neighbors.” The library has been saving up funds to support the renovation for 10 years, Jackson said. The project has been divided into two phases, with the ramp and restrooms scheduled the first phase, and the elevator and an addition to help facilitate the ramp entrance during the second. The plans were approved by the state Historic Preservation Office and construction for phase one is expected to be complete by the end of 2022, according to a statement from the library. The timing of phase two will depend on when the funds are released, Jackson said. About 85 percent of the $1 million to fund the project has been raised and the library has launched the Ramp Up the Evarts campaign to raise the remaining $150,000. As of this week, $11,000 had been raised toward the goal, according to the library’s website. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.