April 05, 2016 - 11:30 AM
ENDERBY - A historic church in the North Okanagan is going high-tech.
The St. Andrew’s United Church in Enderby, which turns 110 this year, now boasts a brand new piece of equipment: an elevator.
The roughly $60,000 elevator lift has been in the works for almost three years, Lorraine Powell of the Accessibility Project Committee says.
“It’s been quite a labour of love,” Powell says.
She says a number of people were having trouble with the stairs, including seniors and a member with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).
“One of our young people is in a wheelchair and not able to come to gatherings in the dining room,” she says.
Fourteen other organizations use the building, and many of their membership also struggled with the stairs, Powell adds.
“The Food Bank had to interview clients in their cars because the building was not accessible,” she says.
Initially, the church considered installing a ramp, but with building codes it turned out an elevator was the best option.
Because of the age of the main building, the elevator was installed off an addition built in the 1970s. The elevator is now finished, and Powell says her first ride in it was ‘wonderful'.
“It looks really good. It’s not closed in like a regular elevator, it’s very bright,” she says.
It’s also unique. In the course of their research, Powell says they reached out to other churches in the area and found only two that have installed elevators.
The project was funded with a federal accessibility grant, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan grant and an Enderby and District Lion’s Club grant, plus fundraising initiatives.
Now that the work is complete, the church is holding a celebration Saturday, April 9, at 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend and tour the building.
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