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Work to make MCCD facilities more accessible

WOODSTOCK – Improvements planned for two McHenry County Conservation District facilities this summer will bring them in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the district’s executive director said.

The district’s board of trustees accepted bids on 16 contracts, totaling $1.09 million, at its meeting Thursday evening, according to district documents.

The work will improve entrances, walkways, hallways, slopes, restrooms and doorways of the two buildings at the Brookdale Administrative Offices, 18410 Route 14, Woodstock, and the Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, district spokeswoman Wendy Kummerer said in an email.

Once the work is complete, the facilities will be in compliance with federal law, Executive Director Elizabeth Kessler said.

The district has been chipping away at the accessibility audit it completed in 2007. It has less than three years to make progress in the areas not in compliance, Kessler said.

Some easily made changes that could be taken care of internally are done, she said, and accessibility issues are addressed when the district makes other improvements.

The top priority is the two facilities to be done this summer because they receive the most traffic, Kessler said.

“We’re committed and we take the requirement of making our sites accessible very seriously,” she said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to access our sites and enjoy the outdoors.”

Construction will start at the Brookdale Administrative Offices around June 8 and continue until Aug. 8. Work on the Prairieview Education Center will run from August to October, Kummerer said.

The buildings will be closed and staff will be relocated during the construction.

Trails at the Brookdale Conservation Area will still be open, but users will have to use the entrance on the east side of the lake off Paulson Road.

Because there is only one entrance to the Prairieview Education Center, staff is still working on a way to keep those trails open, Kessler said.

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