ADA Compliance: Accessibility
Girl Scouts is an all inclusive organization yet the building is not handicap accessible. Access into the front of the building currently requires traveling over 2 stone steps. Access to the bathroom and stage is up 4 stairs to a raised level.
Troops that require handicap access have other alternatives in Hingham including the 6 public schools and other private, non-profit organizations with meeting space. For a fully accessible kitchen and bathroom, costs have been estimated at $128,000, plus $1,500 each year for service of a lift.
By regrading the front and right side yard of the Girl Scout House, we can build a walkway and/or ramp to the existing entrance. Due to the close proximity to the property line, a variance will be required. This project was estimated in September 2016 as $18,000.
Compliance with ADA regulations requires access to all areas used in the normal course of activities. Regular troop meetings, sleep-overs, and occasional events require use of the main hall, bathroom, the refrigerator, and a sink to clean up.
A few troops and private parties have used the microwave and stove; the stage is used for flag ceremonies and occasional skits.
Our approach for interior accessibility is still in the design process. Moving the bathroom to the level of the main hall may be possible by locating it toward the rear of the existing kitchen, and reducing the kitchen area to include a smaller refrigerator, a sink, and a microwave/convection oven. The events that currently occur on the stage can be done in the main hall. As of October 2016, we are working with Strekalovsky Architecture and the Massachusetts Architecture Access Board to complete the design strategy.