LISBON Construction begins on center for disabled

The project was delayed by a dispute with the state over a sprinkler system.
LISBON -- After months of delays, work is finally under way on a $1.3 million facility that will benefit disabled people.
Last month, workers began constructing an addition to a building along state Route 45 in Center Township north of Lisbon.
Meanwhile, workers are remodeling the rest of the building as part of the project.
When everything is finished in July, the building will house a center for adults with mental and physical disabilities.
The Columbiana County agency of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities will oversee the center.
Among those who will use the center will be people whose disabilities are so severe that they are unable to do many other activities, such as be employed in the agency's workshops.
Senior citizens with disabilities, many of whom have retired from MRDD workshops, will use the center for knitting, cooking, playing games and other activities.
The 2,896-square-foot addition will house MRDD administrative offices.
The cost of the project comes from MRDD funds.
Construction was to have started last summer. But the start of work was postponed by discussions between the MRDD and the state, which said the facility should have a sprinkler system in case of fire.
MRDD officials argued initially that the structure's size, its intended use and plans to install fire walls made sprinklers unnecessary.
In October, the MRDD dropped its dispute over the sprinklers and agreed to install them to avoid postponing the project further.
MRDD officials feared that if there were more delays, construction bids would expire, requiring them to be bid again.
Installing sprinklers adds about $20,000 to the project's cost.

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