In the interest of providing a more secure work environment, Orange Township’s front office will soon receive renovations to better protect its employees.
Beth Hugh, Maintenance and Parks director, presented trustees with a summary plan for the renovations Monday evening in the township’s regular trustee meeting.
The conversation encompassed the versatility and security advantages of bi-fold doors over sliding doors.
“Bi-fold doors would lock into place,” Hugh told the trustees. “I think this will give us the most versatility as opposed to sliding doors which one side will always be closed if it slides to one side or the other. Bi-fold doors would open up completely or we could keep one locked in place. The bi-fold doors would give us the most options.”
Hugh said she had attended a front area security seminar where the topics of safe routes and panic buttons were covered. She said those things will be put into the construction model as the township moves forward with the renovation plans.
“From a structural standpoint I think we’ve met everything that was discussed in the seminar,” she said.
Trustee Lisa Knapp asked why they didn’t want the glass sliding doors “because it would be half open or half shut all the time?”
Hugh re-explained to Knapp by using the example of dentist office window.
“You have two windows that go behind each other so at all times half of it is glassed off,” she said. “The bi-fold doors open 100 percent or one of them opens or the other one opens. You can still have either or, but the bi-fold gives the option of both of them open.”
Trustee Debbie Taranto said she was okay with the bi-fold doors.
“Yeah, so am I,” Knapp said.
Looking at the inside space to be renovated, Knapp became concerned with people being loud and disruptive for other employees in the front office when coming and going.
“This was designed to maximize the utilization of space given three workstations,” said Lee Bodnar, township administrator, as he interjected into the conversation. “It doesn’t have to be three workstations, it could be two workstations. To duplicate the work structure we have currently it would emulate it perfectly with the exception of the distraction of someone walking into only one person versus two people being distracted that we currently entertain.”
Bodnar said if need be, there could be only one workstation with no others behind it.
“This is just an opportunity to look at space utilization and maximize it for the workstations,” he said.
Knapp then had concerns about the front area being too large.
“Does it have to be that large?” she asked. “It seems like the reception area is pretty big.”
Bodnar assured her the renovation would narrow down the area “quite a bit.”
“It actually reduces the current work area that is utilized,” he said. “The main thrust of it is security in the front area. It certainly offers that.”
“The laminate panels,” Knapp asked. “Are they pretty dark? They are pretty dark. It’s hard to picture. Could it be lighter paneling?”
Hugh told Knapp that it could be drywall and not the paneling.
“It just seems like it’s dark,” Knapp said. “It just seems kind of dark.”
Bodnar told her that Knapp was looking at a copier’s rendering and nothing was perfect, but could go with something a little lighter.
Hugh said when the board approves the construction plan and goes out to bid, she would have samples of materials for their approval.
The trustees came to a consensus, allowing Hugh to move forward to the next stage of the project.