Accessible Path Work OK’d for Nature Center

At its July 16, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council authorized a $115,309 contract with JB Contractors Inc. to construct barrier-free pathways at the Leslie Science and Nature Center. The recommendation includes a 10% contingency, for a total project cost of $126,840.

The city’s park advisory commission had recommended approval of the contract at its June 19, 2012 meeting.

JB Contractors provided the lowest of two bids. Fonson Inc. had submitted a much higher bid of $197,459. Funding is available from the city’s park maintenance and capital improvements millage.

PAC had been initially briefed on this project – the first phase of a larger renovation – at its Feb. 28, 2012 meeting. The center, located at 1831 Traver Road, was previously part of the city’s parks system, but since 2007 has operated as an independent nonprofit. However, the city still owns and maintains the buildings and property.

Parks planner Amy Kuras told commissioners at PAC’s June 19 meeting that the goal of the changes to the pathways is to make the center compliant with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and to make the pathways and overall organization of the site less confusing. The project includes replacing the paths that connect various buildings on the site, and constructing new paths to connect the center’s raptor enclosures.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]