Posted on July 29, 2015
Amramp of Edmonton recently completed an exciting and challenging ramp installation on a historic courthouse and town hall in the remote small town of Fort MacLeod; built in 1904, it is the oldest court house in the province of Alberta. Lorne Wensel of Amramp Edmonton spearheaded the project and shares some interesting highlights with the Amramp blog.
The Fort MacLeod Courthouse predates Alberta’s entry into Canada as a province, and originally serving as a trading post for the Northwest Territorial administration on the praries. Because it is one of the few surviving buildings from that time period, the building is on the list of historic sites, not just in Alberta but all of Canada. As a result, the ramp installation required a lot more permits and inspection processes than usual.
The courthouse administration found the Amramp Edmonton location online and chose Amramp because our ramps are modular and do not require any excavation or digging to install in most cases. Had digging been required, an archaeological team would have to be brought in to oversee the dig (in case it unearthed any artifacts), which would have almost doubled the expense of the job. The other decision-making factor was that the ramp may or may not be a permanent addition to the building, but Amramp’s ramps are easy to uninstall if necessary—so Amramp was the clear solution in this case!
“It took six months of going back and forth with Historic Sites to get the job approved,” says Lorne, who also had to drive five hours each way to get to Fort MacLeod from Edmonton. Once the installation was approved and he made the trip, a new challenge arose: making sure that the ramp would fit with a step set in a very narrow entryway
underneath an arch. Fortunately, Amramp Edmonton was able to engineer an effective fix in the end which satisfied all involved parties.
Lorne notes that the climate was “pretty toasty” compared to Edmonton, but the courthouse looks out on the Rocky Mountains and thus made for a lovely view at work. As he worked, townspeople would come up to ask him about the job and share about what the building meant to them personally and as a town.
“I never realized how much traveling I’d be doing when I took on this job,” says, Lorne, who finds himself regularly taking trips to various parts of the province. “Tomorrow, I’m actually heading out to do an installation at an alpaca ranch.”
We can’t wait to see photos from that project!
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