A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n Report on the Section 504 Self-Evaluation - May 1996

490 L'Enfant Plaza

Property & Address
US Dept of Education
490 L'Enfant Plaza
Washington, DC
Surveyor: J. Salmen
UFAS Compliance Officer: Carolyn Martin
Survey Date: Nov 7, 1995
Category/Description: Offices & Employment Facility
Report Date: Dec 6, 1995
Programs, Services & Activities: Offices; Meetings; Court/Hearing Room
Other Areas: Metro Stop, Shopping Promenade & Hotel

A. Overview of UFAS Compliance at L'Enfant Plaza

L'Enfant Plaza is a privately owned commercial facility in which the Department of Education leases one (1) floor level with a total floor area of approximately 11,000 square feet. The building is located in a busy office/retail/hotel/Metro hub and contains departmental offices including the Office of Hearings & Appeals within the Department of Education. A court room is contained within the facility and is utilized by both in-house personnel and visitors. Providing accessibility at this facility is recommended to be of medium priority amongst the six (6) Department of Education facilities surveyed.

The facility has a significant amount of accessibility once you have gained access to the building. The court/hearing room was recently renovated and is very accessible.

The items which require the most significant accessibility modifications include paths of travel from sidewalk and public bus and metro transportation routes, primary entrances, the elevator audible signals, interior doors and hardware, tactile signage and common use toilet rooms.

B. Specific UFAS Compliance Issues

In general, it is recommended that the actions described in each of the following categories be considered as priorities for making accessibility enchancements at this facility. The specific items and costs described are considered by UD&C to have the potential of optimizing accessibility where capital investment funds are not available for full UFAS compliance. The cost estimate information in Tab 3 of this report gives a more complete listing of all elements and costs which would be required for more complete UFAS compliance.

1. Parking & Passenger Loading Zones (Photos 1, 2)

There is no parking provided by the Department of Education in this facility. All parking is available from local commercial parking facilities.

The loading zone at the L'Enfant Plaza entry has a gutter detail as shown in photo 2 which presents a series of thresholds greater than one-half inch.

We recommend that the granite gutter in front of each entrance be ground down to reduce the threshold along the street edge. The estimated cost of this accessibility enhancement is $570.

2. Site Accessible Routes (Photos 3-6, 9)

The L'Enfant Plaza entry is accessible by walk. The HUD entry is accessed by a ramp that meets all the standards. However, the Metro entry is only accessible via a set of escalators. To reach the Metro it is necessary to travel approximately 3 blocks over steep terrain to reach an accessible entrance.

Considering that the surveyors found unoccupied space in other Department of Education facilities, we recommend that the Department of Education relocate this facility. At present, Room 2200 offices plan to be relocated to the Mary Switzer Building. Room 2100 offices, where the hearing court room are located, are a fairly small set of facilities. Although the court room has recently been renovated, the difficulty of reaching this facility from Metro for people with mobility impairments is significant and if the opportunity arises, other more accessible locations should be leased. The estimated cost of these accessibility enhancements is $0.

3. Entrances (Photos 1, 7, 8)

The HUD entrance has automatic doors at both the exterior entrance and the promenade entrance.

The 490 and 470 L'Enfant Plaza entries both have sets of double doors which do not provide a 32 inch clear opening. We recommend that an automatic door be installed or the doorways modified. The estimated cost of these accessibility enhancements is $3,670.

4. Building Accessible Routes (Photos 10-12)

Vertical accessibility is provided by two banks of elevators. One serving the 470 and the other serving the 490 entrances. They are both accessed from the promenade level via separate half flights of stairs. There is, however, an elevator which links the promenade level with the lobby of the hotel and from the hotel lobby it is possible to connect to the 470 or 490 L'Enfant Plaza office elevator lobbies. The signage to this route is not clear.

We recommend that a clear signage program be provided which directs users to the office tower via an accessible route. The estimated cost of these accessibility enhancements is $1,530.

The elevators have some problems including call buttons that are too high and obstructed; the lack of tactile numerals on the elevator control panels and lack of audible signals.

We recommend that the landlord be requested to make these modifications. The estimated cost of these accessibility enhancements is $0.

5. Rooms, Assembly Spaces & Special Facilities (Photos 22-25)

Rooms 2100 and 2200 have knob hardware on the entrances to the doors, plus on their conference rooms. In addition, the signage does not meet the criteria required for people of low vision.

We recommend that signage and door knobs be replaced with lever handles and accessible signage. The estimated cost of these accessibility enhancements is $1,360.

The court/hearing room in room 2100 is completely accessible. We do not make any recommendations regarding improvements of its accessibility except for a minor handrail installation.

6. Toilets, Drinking Fountains & Telephones (Photos 13-21)

There is a private use accessible toilet on the 2nd floor of the 490 L'Enfant Plaza tower. However, it was impossible to survey the facility or to find keys among any of the offices in the area as the door was locked. It was the understanding of the some of the staff that the door was supposed to be left unlocked unless it was in use. However, there was nobody using the facility and it was locked. Nobody was able to locate a key.

We recommend that the lockset be changed to a privacy on the door that does not require a key so that it cannot be locked when somebody is not in the facility. The estimated cost of this accessibility enhancement is $200.

The 2 drinking fountains were not accessible.

We recommend the installation of a paper cup dispenser immediately and to request the office building manager to install an accessible drinking fountain as soon as possible. The estimated cost of these accessibility enhancements is $110.

Cost Estimate Information for UFAS Compliance

UFAS Accessibility Compliance Cost Summary

The UFAS Accessibility Compliance Cost Summary consolidates the costs for the following three categories of barrier removal actions, adjusted by a regional multiplier: The Total Accessibility Compliance Cost combines all three categories of barrier removal actions, as adjusted by the regional multiplier.

Cost Worksheeets for UFAS Barrier Removal

The Cost Worksheets for UFAS Barrier Removal provide a line item consolidated and categorized detailed synopsis of the barrier removal actions, with unit costs, quantities, subtotals and totals.


CATEGORY A: $36,072
  1. Parking and Passenger Loading Zones: $778
  2. Site Accessible Routes: $0
  3. Entrances: $5,082
  4. Building Accessible Route: $3,680
  5. Rooms, Assembly Spaces and Special Facilities: $2,236
  6. Toilets, Drinking Fountains and Telephones: $25,956

    SUBTOTAL: $37,732

    Multiplied by Regional Multiplier: 0.956

    CATEGORY A SUBTOTAL: $36,072


CATEGORY B: $0
  1. Parking and Passenger Loading Zones: $0
  2. Site Accessible Routes: $0
  3. Entrances: $0
  4. Building Accessible Route: $0
  5. Rooms, Assembly Spaces and Special Facilities: $0
  6. Toilets, Drinking Fountains and Telephones: $0

    SUBTOTAL: $0

    Multiplied by Regional Multiplier: 0.956

    CATEGORY B SUBTOTAL: $0


CATEGORY C: $0
  1. Parking and Passenger Loading Zones: $0
  2. Site Accessible Routes: $0
  3. Entrances: $0
  4. Building Accessible Route: $0
  5. Rooms, Assembly Spaces and Special Facilities: $0
  6. Toilets, Drinking Fountains and Telephones: $0

    SUBTOTAL: $0

    Multiplied by Regional Multiplier: 0.956

    CATEGORY C SUBTOTAL: $0


TOTAL ACCESSIBILITY COMPLIANCE COST: $36,072

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY PRIORITY COST: $5,900


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