Library turns new page on accessibility

MARGO SCHILLER, Terrace Public Library head librarian, stands in the library basement, looking up through a hole where the new elevator will be.  - MARGARET SPEIRS
MARGO SCHILLER, Terrace Public Library head librarian, stands in the library basement, looking up through a hole where the new elevator will be.
— image credit: MARGARET SPEIRS

SOON EVERYONE will be able to see the art gallery in the library basement as a new elevator is set to be installed.

The elevator, which head librarian Margo Schiller said has been asking for for a long time, will be put next to the meeting room where a display cabinet is now; the cabinet will be removed.

“It’s something the community talked about and certainly the library talked about,” said Schiller.

“Some people can’t get down there [to the art gallery] right now at all.”

It will be a smaller elevator to fit in the space and will cost $50,000, which comes from a grant from the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund and is the maximum amount that can be requested, said Schiller.

The rest of the cost, $70,000, came from the city, which also includes the cost of a new washroom that will be built,  she said.

City workers began the project about a month ago and Schiller said according to the terms of the grant, it has to be done by March 2013.

Library visitors will still he able to get to the art gallery during the installation, except for one week when the stairs will be rotated, which is a requirement for the project, she said.

Right now, when people go down the stairs to the art gallery, they end up facing the wall, but after the stairs are altered, they will be looking into the gallery when they get to the basement, said Schiller.

The bathroom and elevator installation are being done now because that’s when the money was available.

“We’ve been keeping an eye out for grants and this came up and we went for it,” said Schiller, adding the city gave the library a lot of support in getting the grant.

“It was a real joint effort to get it done.”

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