A call can make a world of difference.
Chuck Hartson, a Resource Center client, knows that firsthand.
Hartson was present Tuesday as officials at Prendergast Library officially unveiled new power-assisted doors. The automated entrance, almost six months in the process, came about because of a simple phone call.
Pat Urso of the Southwestern Independent Living Center uses the new power-assisted doors at the Prendergast Library on Tuesday. The doors, installed on Friday, were officially unveiled Tuesday.
P-J photo by Eric Tichy
"Last winter, the Prendergast Library received a call from Hartson about how difficult it was for him to visit the library because the front doors weren't handicapped-accessible," said Tina Scott, assistant library director.
"He wanted to know how could help us get power-assist doors."
The library staff met with Hartson, a frequent library user. Staff then contacted Steve Centi, city development director, where an Americans with Disabilities Act line item was discovered in a Community Development Block Grant. Bill Jones, rehab and code enforcement officer, helped the library apply for the funds.
After money was secured and bids received, the doors mechanics were installed Friday by Ahlstrom Schaeffer at a cost of approximately $17,000.
"As you can see the door openers were installed and will provide equal access to the library, not only for those patrons with disabilities, but also for mothers with strollers, patrons who have casts, or anyone unable to open heavy doors," Scott said.
"These doors benefit everyone and we are absolutely thrilled to have them."
And as for Hartson, the new entrance was met with a wide smile. And after getting some photos taken it was time to hit the books.
Pat Urso of the Southwestern Independent Living Center also was present Tuesday. Although not as frequent a visitor to the library, Urso said she is glad to see an accessible entrance.
"I don't realize I'm in a wheelchair until there's somewhere I can't get," she said. "It's great to see the library have this so people, not just in wheelchairs, have access to it."