COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Many people are excited to see and visit the brand new City Services building off of Macon Road in Columbus, Georgia.
However, some people were confused about the building's handicap accessibility when they noticed the 'Sidewalk Closed' sign blocking the wheelchair ramp in front of the building.
So News Leader 9's Sara Lim visited the premises to clear up this confusion.
City Manager Isaiah Hugely explained that the ramp was not actually closed. The City Services building was originally designed with handicap accessible parking lots in the back of the premise, so that people enter the building from the rear of the building.
The back parking lot has 366 free parking spaces for all citizens. Furthermore, the rear lot was built without any elevation, so people with handicap or disability could enter the building without any trouble.
"However, we decided to make the ramp and create handicap parking spaces in the front of the building as we got closer to the opening date," Hugley explained. "We are expecting the ramp as well as the handicap parking spaces in front of the City Services building to finish within the next few weeks."
Hugley said that he was not sure of the exact date for the completion of the wheelchair ramp. Furthermore, the front handicap parking spaces were initially designed as a quick drop-off area for cars to pull into.
However, the city manager explained that they are planning on adding handicap parking lots in front of the building to provide better service to those who need it. In the meantime, Hugley encouraged people to utilize the rear parking garage to enter the building, since it is already handicap accessible.
"Once the ramp is finished, the entire building will be handicap accessible," Hugley added. "We are excited to make this change."
Hugley briefly explained that he had some parking concerns with Muscogee School District's parking lot and Muscogee County Main Library's parking lot before, since the buildings were located near each other. For instance, many people would park their cars in the library's parking lot and walk over to the new City Services building.
"We had some parking concerns, but we have agreed that these parking lots are public property," Hugely explained. "So I am happy to say that we all agreed these citizens can park wherever they please. However, I encourage them to take advantage of our rear parking garage. It is free, it has 366 parking spaces and again, it is handicap friendly and accessible."