David Christensen Registered Accessibility Specialist
It is a requirement of the Texas Accessibility Standards to bring certain areas, such as restrooms, path of travel, parking, drinking fountains and telephones into compliance when construction occurs to an area of primary function. The state does not set predetermined dollar limits on what cost is reasonable to bring these elements into compliance.
However, under the Federal Law (ADA) building owners have an ongoing continuing obligation for barrier removal, until all barriers are removed. Alterations that could affect the usability of a facility must be completed in an accessible manner to the maximum extent possible. When alterations are made to a primary function area, such as the lobby area of a hotel, an accessible path of travel to and through the altered area must be provided. The bathrooms, drinking fountains and telephones if provided serving that area must also be brought into compliance. However these accessibility alteration costs are not required to be above 20% of the cost of the original alteration.
For example, if the cost of the renovations were to be estimated at $500,000.00, then the areas outlined above must be brought into full compliance or to the maximum extent possible with a budget of $100,000. The parking, sidewalk and restroom upgrades outlined would be considered “Barrier Removal”. If the costs of improvements to provide compliance for the alteration are only $25,000, then that is all that is required to be spent on Barrier Removal for that project.
P.O. Box 1757
Roanoke, Tx 76262