Two units in a subsidized apartment community in Montgomery County have been designed for handicapped tenants, using features recommended by a home-building research organization and the federal government.
The apartments, now occupied, are in Magruder's Discovery, a 134-unit complex sponsored by the Montgomery County Housing Opportunity Commission. The complex is on Westlake Drive, west of Montgomery Mall. Shares in the development are owned by private investors.
At the recommendation of the National Association of Home Builders Research Foundation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the apartments have wider-than-normal hallways to accommodate wheelchairs, doors with wider clearance and sloped entrances. They are served by wider sidewalks.
Kitchens have sinks and cabinets with adjustable-height bases that can accommodate wheelchairs. The electric ranges have controls in front; cabinets have adjustable shelves.
The bathrooms are larger than usual and have a shower spray with a 60-inch hose. Grab bars are installed in the shower and toilet areas. The tub has a removable seat.
All electric switches and plugs can be reached by a person in a wheelchair, and closet shelving and clothing rods are also adjustable, said Steve Moore, an architectural design specialist with the NAHB Research Foundation.
The project was built by Frederick Contractors of Frederick, Md. The Bucher-Meyers architectural firm designed the apartment buildings.