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Center Station project nears completion

October 8, 2014

by Jessica LePore

The renovation to the entrance at  Center Station is expected to be completed by the end of this month – a $182,520 project that will provide access to the disabled.

Center Station, Pine Hills/Jessica Lepore

Center Station, Pine Hills/Jessica Lepore

The project includes a ramp, stairs, and re-pointing of the masonry there, according to Councilwoman Leah Golby, who represents the neighborhood.

Fences and hills of dirt now obstruct the site at 536 Western Ave. – right at the point of Western and Madison avenues – requiring the officers assigned to Center Station to enter along the Western Avenue side of the building.

PCC Construction, the company working on the building, began the project July 1 and has faced some challenges on the urban parcel of land.

“It is a tight sight bounded by streets on all sides,” said J.D. Gilbert, PCC’s project manager.

“The stairs have been problematic since as long as I can remember, I have had conversations myself with the maintenance people trying to change them,” Albany Police Officer, Joe Acquaviva said.

The handicap entrance used to be in the garage of center station and people with disabilities would have to wait until someone let them in by using a bell that was previously at the door.

“What was happening was handicapped people had to stand or sit outside and wait for someone to let them into the building,” Acquaviva said.

The building was erected in 1927, and was last renovated in 2005, according to City Clerk Nala Woodard. In 2005, the city approved a $298,750 improvement project by the Zandri Construction Co.

Barriers to those with disabilities are still common, according to David Atias, assistant director of advocacy for the Center for Disability Rights.

“There are times that people think things are accessible,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not.” -30-

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