Ramping Things UP!

Elevator finished at Memorial Hall in New England

It has taken New England resident Ruth Fitterer over a year. But with the push of a blue-illuminated circular button, her work finally culminated when she got to take a ride on the new lift elevator at the Memorial Hall.

The new ramp has been constructed at the Memorial Hall. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)
The new ramp has been constructed at the Memorial Hall. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

By COLE BENZ
Herald Editor

It has taken New England resident Ruth Fitterer over a year. But with the push of a blue-illuminated circular button, her work finally culminated when she got to take a ride on the new lift elevator at the Memorial Hall.

This isn’t the first time Fitterer has spearheaded a renovation of the decades-old building. She was an integral part of moving and expanding the kitchen area in the mid 90s.

The new elevator is going to be very convenient for those unable to use stairs. Not only will it transport them to each individual floor, but the door automatically opens for an easy entrance and exit.

In the span of just a few weeks, work on the elevator project progressed significantly. On Friday, May 13, crews were already pouring cement to form the new handicap accessible ramp leading to the far south door in the front, though the railing still needs to be installed.

Fitterer previously told The Herald that it was not known when that ramp would be built, but that it would essentially be the last piece of the project, aside from paint and other tasks not essential to handicap accessibility.

A look intot he new elevator at the Memorial Hall. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)
A look intot he new elevator at the Memorial Hall. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

New doors will be installed in the front. The south door that will be installed will be handicap accessible, along with a new door in the space farthest to the north, but that one won’t be handicap accessible. The two main doors are newer and won’t need to be replaced.

Crews were also finishing up covering windows that had previously been painted over. Fitterer said she didn’t know why they were painted in the first place, but now they have been insulated and boarded up to improve the energy efficiency of the building. Brown steel material was used to cover up the plywood to decorate the areas and match it with the accents of the building.

In the basement, all but two new doors have been installed. Some of the frames were widen to be in compliance with the American Disabilities Act. The new doors can be seen as you walk down stairs in the landing area before it breaks off into the various spaces in the basement.

Tile work will also happen in the basement landing area. The men’s bathroom will also see new flooring installed and the women’s restroom will get some of the flooring replaced. New carpeting in the basement and on the stairs leading to the gymnasium are also in the plans.

Fitterer plans to hang a new donation board, instead of adding to any existing ones.

“[The donation board] is going to be a new one,” Fitterer said. “Because this is a whole different year.”

More work is needed, but the essential pieces to getting the elevator working is finished, and those in need of its services will finally be able to get into, and move around the hall with ease.

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