Photo Gallery | Renovations at the Northern Berkshire YMCA
NORTH ADAMS -- Soon, folks who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes or other ambulatory aids will have full access to the pool facilities at the Northern Berkshire YMCA.
The $50,000 project will convert a locker room into a shower/bathroom facility that is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act, according to Justin Ihne, executive director at the Y.
"Being a YMCA and being open to all, we have to be sure to do this," he said. "So we're hoping more people will come now that we're accessible. You have to wonder how many have not come because of that."
By installing expanded specialized shower compartments and toilets, Ihne said, people who use wheelchairs will be able to maneuver easily to use the facilities for changing and showering before and/or after using the pool.
Ihne said a person in a wheelchair has to be able to turn all the way around in the shower stall. Each door is being widened to three feet, and each compartment will have grab-bars installed.
The room will be unisex, so parents can bring their kids in to get changed or use the bathroom.
The project was funded by grants from the Alden Trust and the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, Ihne said.
The work started in mid April and is expected to conclude in early May.
Ihne said other accessibility work in various parts of the YMCA is ongoing. On the list for future installation -- as funds become available -- are automated doors and easier access to get into the water in the pool.
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