BSFS Receives Permit to Build ADA Ramp at its Headquarters

By Dale Arnold: The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has received a permit to construct an ADA compliant ramp outside its headquarters after a two year process which was delayed by both lost government records (improper hand recopying of data still held on physical index cards) at the Baltimore Zoning and Planning Department Office and not one but two ransomware attacks at that department which brought their computer systems down to the point where they had to rebuild the entire system… After explaining that even though the zoning code did not have a category for science fiction society or literary society, that the Baltimore Science Fiction Society was not like a union hall or a dance club or other things that the zoning folks believed might be similar…  

BSFS is happy to announce we finally received the permit. This ramp will finally allow people using wheelchairs to enter the front of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Building and not use the steep scary freight ramp at the back of the building.  

The final ramp design is more complex than we had originally hoped adding to some of the approval delays and boosting up the price due to the slope of the property, placement of doors on the building, and location of gas and plumbing lines.  Engineering drawings and fund raising for this project began in 2013 and it has been a long haul, but we now have the funds, permit, and contractors lined up to perform construction in March 2020. (when the weather breaks as concrete sets poorly in the cold)  

All of the surplus funds raised at Balticon 50 where George R. R. Martin was guest of honor, as well as many thousands of dollars raised from fandom at other events will go to cover the total cost of over $30,000.00 for the project.  BSFS thanks everyone in fandom that contributed for their faith and generosity toward this project.   

8 thoughts on “BSFS Receives Permit to Build ADA Ramp at its Headquarters

  1. I’m glad to see BSFS is successful enough to be able to fund this, given the precarious con situations we’ve been reading about recently.

    @Lis Carey: they may have been concentrating on a description of meetings, or they may simply have misread something; I remember the Orlando fire marshal asking what kind/size of equipment we were going to have in the print shop next to the art show at Magicon.

  2. @Kendall: if I read the drawing correctly, they’re going to have to excavate a few hundred cubic feet of whatever’s under the sidewalk, then put in that much concrete plus enough for the ramp, and shape the excess into a slope despite its natural tendency to be level. I’m sure there are companies that know how to do this, but I doubt it’s trivial.

  3. @Chip Hitchcock: Thanks, that sounds like more work than I thought.

    (ETA: That is to say, among other things, that I didn’t really understand the drawing.)

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