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  Sunshine Park Apartments RenovationSunshine Park Apartments Renovation


The Rickman Partnership, Inc.
4328 N.W. 29th Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32605

General Description

Location: Gainesville, Florida
Date Bid: July 2013
Construction Period: Sept 2013 to Jan 2014
Total Square Feet: 2,252
Site: 2.58 acres.
Number of Buildings: Two.
Building Sizes: 2,252; 4 apartments 563 sq. ft. each.
Building Height: First floor, 8’; total, 8’.
Basic Construction Type: Interior remodel.
Foundation: N/A Exterior Walls: N/A Roof: N/A Floors: N/A
Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall, metal stud drywall.

Project Team

General Contractor: Oelrich Construction, Inc. - 25125 W. Newberry Road, Newberry, FL 32669

The Scope of this Project included converting four existing one bedroom apartments into four accessible units. The original apartments had basically not been changed since they were constructed in the 1970's, although they had been well maintained. Because Housing and Urban Development funds were involved, the remodeling followed UFAS Guidelines and was required to meet Zero Tolerance in many areas. Three areas of major concern were identified: Bathrooms, Kitchens, and Entries, along with minor areas such as door locations, electrical device locations and finish hardware.

The existing bathrooms were all the same and consisted of a water closet, lavatory, and tub in a 5x7-foot space. To make these bathrooms accessible required a complete demolition of all fixtures, wall and floor finishes, and the two interior walls, so that access for wheelchairs and people with disabilities could be provided. The final bathroom space was 6x8-feet. New plumbing fixtures and accessories were added to meet UFAS requirements for both size and location. Wood blocking was installed at all locations for grab bars and accessories. Two of the apartments were designed for tub installations and two apartments were designed for roll-in shower installations. To finish the bathrooms, new ceramic tile floors and walls were installed. New lighting replaced the existing and an exhaust fan was added.

The existing kitchen area consisted of a single line of upper and lower cabinets of standard heights with standard appliances. The Owner had anticipated the possibility of accessibility remodeling when replacing the cabinets several years ago and installed the cabinets as separate units which could be easily moved and had also fabricated the base cabinets to meet the required UFAS heights. The kitchen remodel required eliminating a section of base and upper cabinets to allow for a new drop-in range, removing the sink cabinet and sink in order to allow for a new sink at an adjustable 28-inch height as required by UFAS. The upper cabinets were lowered to provide required reach height for the bottom shelf. Electrical outlets in the backsplash were lowered for the accessible reach height requirements. The existing exhaust range hood was provided with accessible wall switch. New counter tops were installed at accessible heights. An approved accessible refrigerator was provided.

The existing entry area had the typical entry closet and did not provide space required for side or front-wheel chair approach. A new expanded entrance was provided with accessible closet.

Other work included relocating electrical devices to within accessible reach requirements; replacing existing electrical tank water heaters with electric tank-less water heaters; installing new flooring and base throughout the bedroom and living room areas, painting new and existing walls, and installing new finish hardware with new lever handles.

The challenge during construction was maintaining the HUD requirements of zero dimensional tolerances. This tolerance restriction was particularly difficult when installing grab-bars on ceramic tile walls and reinstalling existing cabinetry on existing un-level flooring.

These four units were completed in 2014 and were immediately occupied, due to a waiting list. The Rickman Partnership, Inc. has a general practice in Architecture and Interior Design and specializes in Universal and Accessibility Design for new and existing construction.

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