GRAFTON, Mass. — The town is requesting a second extension of the deadline to make the Grafton Public Library handicapped accessible, pushing the project's completion date to April 2013 instead of November.
Town Administrator Tim McInerney, in a July 27 letter to the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board, cited the town's progress, which included the hiring of architectural firm Lerner Ladds Bartels to complete the design, documentation and building assessment.
"Our discussions with LLB and subsequent draft project schedule have indicated that even with an aggressive approach ... we will push construction completion beyond the Nov. 1, 2012, date required by the AAB," McInerney wrote. "We respectfully request until April 15, 2013, to complete construction for the work that will remedy the original four violations."
In a meeting Monday with the Grafton Library Building Committee, LLB architects R. Drayton Fair and Kathleen A. Bartels presented their revised solution for the 84-year-old building's four violations, which has the town facing a fine of up to $4,000 per day. The violations had been addressed in a proposed $11.7 million expansion that failed at the ballot box last December.
Under the proposal, a new entrance, constructed of concrete block with a copper overhang, would be created on the Upton Street side of the library, replacing the current entrance through the children's library. The small addition would allow for the construction of a limited use elevator to bring visitors with handicaps to the main floor of the library, as well as address access to the children's room and first floor.
A new, accessible, bathroom would also be constructed on the main floor, replacing an office.
An inspection of the building's structural needs is continuing. While the accessibility issues will be paid for by a previously approved appropriation of Community Preservation funds, any additional fixes would require approval at October Town Meeting.
Selectman Brook Padgett expressed concern about requesting additional money from Town Meeting before beginning the project. All repairs should be done at once to minimize the construction upheaval, Committee Chairman Andy Deschenes said.
The plans for the new entrance now pass to the Grafton Historic District Commission for approval.