Step added to tricky staircase at Augusta courthouse

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Visitors to the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Building and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse might have noticed a subtle difference Monday at the foot of the staircase leading up to the second floor.

Charlene Crank walks down the stairs at the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Building and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse. A step was added to prevent falls.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Charlene Crank walks down the stairs at the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Building and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse. A step was added to prevent falls.


Last weekend, a yellow step was added between the white base of the steps and the red terrazzo floor.

It’s a long-awaited change after yellow caution tape kept visitors from making a potentially dangerous misstep off the base of the stairs for more than a year.

The Richmond County marshals who screen incoming visitors first noticed visitors and employees taking tumbles soon after the courthouse opened in April 2011. Exactly what caused people to miss that last step remains a mystery; the associate architect of the courthouse measured the steps and confirmed that they were built to code.

Officials’ best guess is that the white floor created some sort of optical illusion. Security camera footage also showed most of the spills occurred when people were looking down at paperwork or their cellphone.

Tom Gunnels, a superior court administrator, said Tuesday that the extra step and two handrails that will be added soon should solve the problem.

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Little Lamb
48011
Points
Little Lamb 08/28/12 - 02:11 pm
0
1
Architect Scorned

The architect who designed the staircase will really be miffed that they've modified his design. Those handrails will really add insult to injury.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/28/12 - 08:38 pm
0
0
I really don't think that any
Unpublished

I really don't think that any alterations would ruin the ugly staircase

Robcat75
8
Points
Robcat75 08/29/12 - 05:23 am
1
0
Court House (Handicap)

That's only one thing that needed changing! The entrance to court house for Handicap is a JOKE! You have to park on right front side in Handicap area then walk all the way to opposite side of building to use ramp then walk back toward the other end of court house to use the entrance door. What since is that? The ramp should have been on same side as parking area and front entrance. Added walking to enter if handicap is ridiculus. People whom have no disability can go straight to front entrance from parking areas. THE RAMP NEEDS TO BE on same side as parking areas not on opposite side!!

triscuit
3223
Points
triscuit 08/29/12 - 09:22 am
0
0
Who cares if the architect is

Who cares if the architect is "miffed?" If he done a better job at first this wouldn't have happened. You get what you pay for.

urright
465
Points
urright 08/29/12 - 12:07 pm
0
0
Here's an idea:

Pay attention when approaching or using steps. Problem solved.

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