Morrison looking to ensure ADA compliance

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By Deborah Swearingen

The Morrison Town Board is working towards ensuring its historic town facilities are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To do so, the town is considering a variety of options and partnering with Meeting the Challenge and architecture students at the University of Colorado Denver. Meeting the Challenge is a Colorado Springs-based consulting firm that will be conducting an ADA evaluation of town facilities.

Passed in 1990, the ADA is a civil rights law meant to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The law has many components, including a title that prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation.

According to the ADA National Network, the law sets minimum standards for accessibility for alterations and new construction of facilities but also requires public accommodations to remove barriers in existing buildings where it’s easy to do so without much difficulty or expense.

Morrison utilizes two main buildings: a courthouse and town hall on Stone Street and a police department and administrative building on Highway 8.

Both buildings are old, and according to town officials, each will require extensive remodeling or complete reconstruction. Despite this, the town is forging ahead in order to provide a more inclusive space.

Town Administrator Kara Winters said the board gave her the go-ahead to obtain bids and begin hiring contractors to update the administrative facility, and Morrison is using the CU students for a town hall concept design that would install additional bathrooms and an elevator.

“We would take that to somebody to do the actual construction drawing and make the improvements,” she said.

In the meantime, the town is considering renting space in other area courtrooms. But as long as it is moving forward, making progress and working diligently, town attorney Gerald Dahl said Morrison is good to go.

“As long as you’re not just avoiding the planning process … as long as you’re doing,” Dahl added.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.