American Legion Post 735 in West Seneca Completes Needed Handicap Renovations
to Make Building Safer, More Accessible for Veterans
American Legion Post 735 in West Seneca is now safer and more accessible for veterans with physical handicaps with the completion of needed building renovations, it was announced today.
Announcement of the finished project, which started Nov. 12, was made at a news conference at Post 735 by Erie County Clerk Michael “Mickey” Kearns, Gary Oakes, president of the non-profit Veterans Post Restoration (VPR) of Erie County, NY and Martin T. Griffith, BankOnBuffalo president.
BankOnBuffalo’s contributed $20,000 which was combined with further in-kind labor and materials donations to renovate the restrooms to be handicap accessible and to construct an outside handicap accessible entrance ramp as the start of the post’s compliance effort with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Community partners donating in-kind labor and materials for the renovations include:
Cheryl Henry Architectural – In-kind architectural labor for both restrooms, ramp
Cassillo Development – In-kind general contractor
Cellino Plumbing & HVAC– In-kind plumbing labor
IBEW Local 41 (Electrical Union) – In-kind electrical labor
Ferguson – Donated plumbing materials
Vets H.E.R.D. Inc.– In-kind labor
Union Concrete and Construction Corporation - Donated labor/materials for ramp
“This collaborative community effort is just the start toward making all of the older American Legion posts in Erie County safer and more accessible for both older veterans and the next generation,” said Kearns, who first was involved in government funding opportunities for posts renovations when he was a member of the New York State Assembly and currently is a volunteer member of the VPR Advisory Board. “
“Hopefully the effort seen at Post 735 can become a model for other businesses and community organizations to step up and participate in Operation Appreciation as a very visible way to show our veterans how much they are appreciated and thanked for their service to our country,” Griffith said.
The Veterans Post Restoration has launched Operation Appreciation to repair and upgrade these posts so they are handicapped accessible and can be enjoyed by aging veterans who are in wheelchairs or are disabled from loss of limbs.
Many veterans’ posts were built before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The Buffalo chapter of the American Institute of Architects volunteered to inspect local posts and make recommendations on required maintenance and compliance with building codes.
Post 735 in West Seneca was one of 18 American Legion posts in Erie County identified by AIA as needing funding to comply with federal laws guaranteeing access for veterans and other individuals with disabilities. Post 735 serves as a community gathering place for not just the American Legion but also for several other veteran organizations in the surrounding area.
About Veterans Post Restoration of Erie County, NY Inc.
Formed in 2017 in response to a detailed analysis, Veterans Post Restoration of Erie County, NY Inc. is a not-for-profit comprised of 18 veterans' posts around Erie County, NY whose mission is to raise the necessary funds to improve and modernize the participating posts around the county to make them accessible and pass them down to the next generation of veterans. These necessary updates were professionally identified through a partnership with the American Institute of Architects. Participating posts are affiliated members of the American Legion, AmVets, 40&8, Marine Corps League and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
As a community bank, BankOnBuffalo, a division of CNB Bank, is being developed by local people and businesses. This local decision-making increases the level of service provided to the communities in and around Buffalo and brings growth to the entire region.