And this is now... getting ready to pull down the stairs to make way for a ramp.
And this is now... getting ready to pull down the stairs to make way for a ramp.

Back to the future

About 10 years ago The Echo staff turned up to work one Monday morning to find a construction crew putting up fences and heavy machinery getting ready to dig.

For the next few weeks the building, on the corner of Molesworth and Conway Streets, rattled and hummed as contactors removed the ramp that was the only access at the front of the building and replaced it with a set of double stairs.

Fast forward to this week. When Echo staff turned up for work we were greeted by the site of building contractors putting up fences at the front of the building and heavy machinery getting ready to dig.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Putting in a new disabled access ramp,” one of the workmen said.

According to the building’s owner Nick Volpato, the old ramp was removed to “give the building a bit of a facelift”.

But Council told him he needed to have disability access at the front of the building so eventually a lift was put in beside the front steps.

But over the years the lift stopped working and has fallen into disrepair.

Mr Volpato said he investigated various options, and even though a ramp was a bit more expensive than replacing the lift, “over the medium to long term it was more effective. There is no maintenance and the opportunity for vandalism is reduced,” he said.

So for the next few weeks we are expecting the rattle and hum of machinery as one set of stairs are removed and a ramp is put back onto the front of the building.

Stay tuned to see what happens next decade.


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