Rogersville Historic Commission OKs new ADA entrances at library, senior center

Jeff Bobo • Jul 11, 2019 at 3:45 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The design of two new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) entrances being installed in the building shared by the Rogersville Senior Center and H.B. Stamps Public Library has been approved by the town’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Hawkins County Buildings Manager Sarah Davis told the the county commission’s Public Buildings Committee Tuesday that the plan is make the Senior Center entrance ADA-compliant first.

But there will be no changes to the library’s main entrance except to eliminate some rotting wood. That would entail doing away with one of the two sets of doors which creates a vestibule at the entrance.

The plan is to instead make the middle entrance ADA-compliant. That entrance leads to the hallway where the public restrooms are located. 

“The library’s desk is right in front of the main entrance,” Davis told the committee Tuesday. “The reason they built those two doors is to buffer the weather. When those doors open, they’re right in front of that, and we were going to have to lose a set of those doors to make it ADA-complaint.

“I met with the city of Rogersville, and we were both in agreement to just make that entrance that’s in the middle ADA-compliant. The door is large enough, and we can leave the main entrance to the library alone, although it has some rot. We’re going to replace the rot, but leave the doors as they are.”

Purchase orders were issued Wednesday for both entrances, and the Senior Center entrance should be completed by the end of August, Davis said.

Hawkins County is under a federal mandate to make all county facilities ADA-complaint by 2023. It’s an expensive process, and projects are being completed individually as funding becomes available.

After the Senior Center and Library are completed, the next project will be the county Administration Building, where the county mayor’s offices are located, although that project isn’t expected to be addressed until the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The city and county share ownership of the library/senior center property, and there’s a longstanding agreement to share maintenance expenses. The overall cost of this project is estimated at $37,295.

The agreement is for Rogersville to cover 60 percent, so the city’s street department will perform all the concrete work.

Davis said the county’s portion of the cost for the project is estimated at $15,679.

“The door to the Senior Center is currently two doors, and we’re going to make that one 42-inch door, and we’re going to have that custom built,” Davis said. “It’s going to have skylights on each side … and they’re going to make the other doors look as similar as they can to that because it is in a historic district.”

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