In general, older buildings in southeastern Wisconsin were not designed to be easily accessible for people with disabilities.
Providing building access can be problematic when it involves changes to features and/or materials contributing to the facility’s historical character.
Older buildings often hide structural deficiencies. Funding access improvements for historic properties can be challenging. Staff at the Cathedral of Saint
John the Evangelist sought to improve public access to the Archbishop Weakland Center. Though kept in reasonable repair, the Center’s existing concrete entrance stairs showed their age and did not meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance standards. The ideal solution would be to modify the entrance to include a permanent ramp. Funding availability pushed the ideal solution into the future. Available funds did allow for construction of a new landing and staircase, designed to accept an ADA-compliant permanent ramp in the near future. New staircase construction required removal of a historic sandstone landing, adding a fourth step riser, and replacement of portions of the public sidewalk to make elevations work for the future ramp. As there was no footing under the original stairs, footing excavation and construction was required. Number 5 rebar was used for the footing rebar-cage, in the new landing, and in the actual steps. The durable project concrete mix (stairs and sidewalk) included 564 pounds of portland cement (to support durability and a quicker set time), low-chert aggregate (to minimize popouts), and Fibermesh micro-synthetic fiber (to address early-age cracking issues). The Munson, Inc. Concrete Crew formed the footing and stairs, then placed, finished, cured, and protected the new concrete according to fundamentals
of good practice. When funding becomes available, the new steps will be removed, replaced by a permanent, cast-in-place concrete ramp dowelled into the new landing.
Preserving Historical Character
The original building cornerstone was found in 2012, during demolition of a 1967 addition. A tributary stone was place on top of it and the resulting cornerstone/tribute display has been on display in the property’s courtyard. The sandstone landing removed during new stairway construction has been placed at the base of the display, reuniting two historic building elements. The National Parks Service has available online an excellent Preservation Brief titled Making Historic Properties Accessible. Visit: http://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs/32-accessibility.htm . You Have a Friend in the Concrete Business Need a friend in the concrete business? Looking for a reliable, qualified concrete contractor to get your facility projects done on time in a safe, efficient manner, and experienced at minimizing or eliminating business interruption inherent with concrete construction installations? Munson, Inc. excels at helping Milwaukee-area businesses, organizations, and homeowners solve repair, compliance, spill containment, renovation, addition, and new construction facility challenges. Customers report they appreciate our professionalism, the quality of our workmanship, our project communication, and the creative, cost-effective solutions we provide to meet their specific con – crete project needs. Look to Munson, Inc. for concrete solutions for pavements, walls, foundations, equipment pads, slabs, footings, curbs, or custom work, including decorative concrete.
Contact us to discuss how our concrete construction services can help you solve your facility challenges – Phone: 800.236.0340 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .