The new laundry room is key to completing the first floor renovations. Everything needs to follow a precise and logical order. The new entrance for Visions will have its own elevator to the basement, landing smack dab where the Laundry Room is now. So, before we can build that entrance and put in that elevator, we need to move the Laundry Room. But half of the new Laundry Room is going where the old Community Room was (remember the room where the soda machines used to be?) and the other half will be in an extension in an area which is now part of the courtyard. That extension can’t be built until they pour a foundation for it, and we are told that the temperature needs to be above forty degrees for three consecutive days before they can safely pour concrete. So does that mean we have to wait for spring? Well, yes, unless . . . . “Unless what?” we asked. Unless we build a tent or structure that can be heated and will allow us to control the temperature and the pour and the inspection schedule, and so on. “Do it!” we said. “Let’s get this ball rolling.” So plans are in the works to do just that. And once the twelfth and eleventh floors are completed, and we are utilizing four weeks to move people in and move others out, the contractors will be utilizing those same four weeks working 100% on the Laundry Room, the new snack bar, the rest rooms, the basement, and the new stairs to the basement.
If all goes well we will have an all new Laundry Room on the first floor in early April, just about the time the outside temperatures start to hit forty degrees for three or four days in a row. But that won’t matter, because the foundation will have long been poured. The new Laundry will have all brand new machines, nine washers and eight dryers, so efficient that people will have to find entirely new items to kick and punch and curse at. The new machines will be front-loading and energy-efficient. You will use less detergent and less bleach. We asked for coin-operated machines in order to satisfy the special needs of much of our population. Most machines today use reloadable cash cards, but technology does not exist to audibly read how much money is on a cash card. That is it didn’t exist until we presented our need for such a device. The company providing the machines, Hercules, went to its vendors and explained the situation. Technicians at the vending company developed a card vending machine that will audibly announce the amount whenever you insert the card, whether to refill it or just check the balance. This is technology that WE made happen. Selis Manor will move into the twenty-first century with the ability to use cards for the washers and dryers, and we will have the first laundry room anywhere to have the ability to audibly announce how much cash is on those cards.
This is quite a breakthrough in accessibility technology, and it came about because of two things: a company that understood our special needs and were willing to help; and, to be honest, a company that was tired of carrying bags of quarters out of here. But whatever the motive, the fact is that something exists now that did not exist before, something beneficial to a large portion of the population, and may eventually become standard issue across the country. It is an extraordinary accomplishment. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this happen.