St. Andrew’s United Church in Williams Lake received recognition for improving accessibility to all residents.
The Church was presented Tuesday evening with the Accessibility Award of Merit by Mayor Walt Cobb.
Trustee Barry Sale says it was completely unexpected and he is absolutely thrilled.
“Our Church serves a lot of the people in Williams Lake. We put on all sorts of things not only weddings, funerals, and services,” he says.
“So this shows that the people of Williams Lake through the Council really appreciate what we do and how much we try to make it accessible.”
An elevator at the two-story Church was completed with mostly volunteer labor in May 2016.
“It was a project that was long overdue. In order to get to the upstairs or downstairs before the elevator you had to go outside and walk around if you were wheelchair bound or if you had mobility issues, and the stairs were so steep and there were so many of them,” says Sale.
While accessibility and mobility were not given much thought of when the Church was originally built in 1925, Sale says it has become a real issue in our time and the more buildings that can get on with that the better it will be for all citizens in Williams Lake.
“It can take 3 or 4 people at once or a wheelchair and 2 people,” says Sale noting that grants and support put them over top of the needed $60,000 for the elevator at $75,000.
“A real true 10 person elevator was way beyond us but this is just perfect.”
The funds that were not used for the installation Sale says is still being used to this day for the annual inspections, upkeep, and maintenance of the elevator.