Federation of Southern Cooperatives
Land Assistance Fund

For Immediate Release: 
February 14, 2005
John Zippert - 205 652 9676

Federation of Southern Cooperatives Enhances Facility to Include Handicapped Accessibility at Its Rural Training and Research Center in Alabama

EPES, ALABAMA....The Federation of Southern Cooperatives has enhanced its Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama with handicapped assessable walkways and entrances. Working with the architectural firm of Owens and Woods in Birmingham, Alabama to develop plans for making the entire Center handicapped accessible, the organization has accomplished the following:

    installed and marked four (4) parking spaces for handicapped persons, close to the entrance to the Administration Building and Dormitory

    installed ramps connecting the handicapped parking spaces to the sidewalks to enter all the buildings

    expanded the sidewalks, where necessary, to the required three foot width,  for wheelchair use

    installed ramps into all buildings, i.e., Administration Building (offices), Dormitory, Cafeteria-Auditorium, to allow for access by wheelchair

    made new entrances to men's and women's rest rooms from inside the Cafeteria-Auditorium Building; removed old fixtures; repoured the floors in the bathrooms; and we are now in the process of replacing the fixtures with handicapped accessible facilities, handrails, etc. ( these bathrooms should be completed by the end of January 2005)

    The next phase of work will be to provide rest room and shower accommodations for wheelchair and handicapped persons in the Center's Dormitory. The plans call for major renovations of both bathrooms in the Dormitory. Since receiving and reviewing the plans, we are thinking of converting one of the dorm rooms into a handicapped accessible rest room with shower, this would reduce the cost and upheaval to remodeling the current facilities. The handicapped rest room would be accessible from the two adjoining rooms.

    After we complete work on the Dormitory, we need to provide a handicapped accessible rest room in the Administration Building and possibly in our Computer Lab facility. We anticipate that the full project will be completed by September 30, 2005.

Funding assistance for this enhancement has been partly funded by the Greene Sumter Enterprise Community with an infrastructure grant of $8,000. The total cost of the project is estimated by the architects to be $80,000.