The Kimberley Arts Council and Centre 64 are ready to unveil their platform wheelchair lift.
On January 11 from 4p.m. to 6p.m., join the Arts Council for the grand opening of the lift, but be sure to RSVP first at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give them a call at 250.427.4919.
The KAC spent a year fundraising over $200,000 to make their goal of ‘inclusivity for all’ possible, while construction on the lift began in March of this year.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at that time, and Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick congratulated the KAC and Carol Fergus, who spearheaded the fundraising, on their achievement.
“A couple of years ago the City commissioned an engineering study on this building to try and determine wether or not it was worthy of putting money into,” said McCormick. “The report came back very positive, the building has very solid bones. The City invested around $300,000 into the building at the time to put in a sprinkler system…and the air conditioning system. However, one of the things that has been long short on this building has been accessibility.
“Getting accessibility into this building has been a dream for a very long time and for the past year Carol and her team have been fundraising to make this a reality. Today, we are seeing the fruition of that. On behalf of the City of Kimberley I want to congratulate Carol and the rest of the team on an absolutely outstanding effort, and best wishes for a great project.”
Dennis Bathory, who is a semi-retired Architect, has volunteered his skills to help with the design and construction of the lift. He says the project itself, architecturally, is “very modest”.
The lift is located beside the emergency exit doors (which face the parking lot). It uses an overhead hydraulic system and takes 30 seconds to get patrons from the first to second floor with the push of a button. The lift will lead into a hallway that goes directly into the theatre.
“We are so proud of the fact that we are reconnecting with the community, and have been so supported by the community with an amazing amount of fundraising,” said Bathory.
Lennon Delaney, President of the Arts Council, agreed saying, “things like this don’t necessarily happen unless there’s a community that gets involved. As we know, Centre 64 has been a cornerstone for arts in our community for a long, long time. It has also been a place of culture, both our own and that of other’s. When you think about the importance of inclusiveness within a community, it’s something that should be accessed by all.”