After a few weeks of revisions, the plans we submitted to City Hall they were approved and a build permit was made available to us. Which was great news!
The approved plans required some demolition to our floor and restructuring of our plumbing system to meet current ADA requirements. Although these were changes that would make our restrooms more accessible, the cost rose to more than $30,000.00, which was well outside our budget while we’re not open for business. From the very beginning, The Torch has tried to be compliant with all building codes and statues to make it a safe and fun place to be. But this plumbing change was simply outside of our scope.
Fortunately, after a little bit of searching, the ADA and the International Code Council came to the rescue. Because the plumbing is part of the existing infrastructure of the building, it falls under The International Building Code Fourth Printing (2009) Chapter 34 Section 3411 Subsection 7.1. Believe me when I say I never thought I’d be dealing with such things as an improvisor. The pertinent portion of the code reads:
The costs of providing the accessible route are not required to exceed 20 percent of the costs of the alterations affecting the area of primary function.
In other words, if the cost of altering our plumbing was financially infeasible (greater than 20% of our total project cost) then we could cap that work at the 20% provided we could provide a proposal on how to best use those funds.
As it turns out, there is an existing document providing priorities. Interestingly, the priority list goes from the front of the building to the back. Since our plumbing is the back of the building, we had to account for any ADA requirements from the parking lot back, including a ramp which will go to the stage.
At this very moment, we are working with our contractors to create a list of additions to bring our project within budget and get going.
But here’s the exciting part
The city has approved our proposal and will be awarding us a build permit today! When this permit is received, The Torch Theatre can begin building. Our builders and contracters are all ready to go. So if you head down to 4721 in the coming weeks, you might meet some of our carpenters, painters and electricians as we finally start turning a barbershop into a theatre. All of the restroom alterations will be left alone until our revisions are approved, but fire exits, hallways, ticket booths and a stage will start taking shape.
Bring a camera, show your grandchildren the formation of the new Torch Theatre.