I'm happy to report that our friends from GM Builders & Son started work yesterday on a two-part project to improve handicap accessibility on the Lucas County Historical Society museum campus. The first half will be completed this fall; the second half, in the spring. This is a project made possible by a gift from the Coons Foundation.
The first part of the project involves paving a graveled area east from the Lewis Building ramp to the already-paved circle drive. This has been an area difficult for folks who need to use the ramp to navigate and a challenge for everyone when the ground is soft.
Now, we'll have clearly designated all-weather handicap parking places on both sides of the ramp entrance as well as a couple of other marked parking places for guests.
In the spring, the guys will take up the brick sidewalk leading to Otterbein Church, the brick apron in front of the church and the brick portion of the sidewalk that leads on to Puckerbrush School and beyond. The pavers will be recycled elsewhere on campus, but smooth concrete surfaces are needed to assure the safety of our guests and now those will be installed.
In addition, we'll install new ramps to the two church doors and a ramped entrance to the big east door of the Pioneer Barn. Hopefully, this phase of the project will be complete before we open for the regular season on May 2, 2017.
Take note of that May 2 opening date. For many years, the museum season began just after Memorial Day, but due to recent board action, we'll now be open Tuesdays-Saturdays from the first of May until the end of September. We're currently operating on off-season hours --- the office is open officially only from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesdays and tours then and at other times need to be arranged by appointment.
Once the concrete has been put into place, and hopefully that will be done today, it will need to cure for 14 days before vehicles are allowed on it. This means that anyone who comes to the museum during the next couple of weeks will find the north entrance to the circle drive blocked and other barriers around the new pavement. The south driveway entrance will remain open and parking also is available in the designated area in front of the Stephens House along North 13th Street.