Ramping up the access
The 90-year-old Errington War Memorial Hall is getting a fancy new universal accessible ramp and covered entry with the help of a grant and many donations of labour and material.
Charlie Pickard, of Pickard Construction said he’s excited to be working on the hall that he’s been using since he was eight years old.
“My father and mother were big in the hall and I guess I see this as a way to give back,” he said of the full ramp facility they’re in the middle of constructing.
There used to be a steep little concrete slab at the back entrance that didn’t work well, hall association president David Malek explained during a concrete pour Wednesday morning.
“About a year ago, Lane, the vice president and I, decided it was time to get it done and we drew up the first plan on a napkin,” he said.
The donated work is was greatly helped by a $34,250 grant from the federal government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) which should cover about half the total cost Malek said.
“Our government is pleased to support upgrades to the Errington War Memorial Hall,” said Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney in a March 11 news release. “The hall is a focal point of community activity, the upgrades will be a huge benefit to persons with accessibility issues and ensure that the hall will serve our community for years to come.”
Presented on behalf of Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, the grant helps with the assessment, design and installation of the covered wheelchair ramp and stairs which Malek added will make access easier for everyone from wheelchair users to strollers and “people who shuffle.”
Pickard is documenting the community’s work under the “blog” tab on their website at www.pickardconstruction.ca.
Anyone interested in donating or helping with the work can contact Malek at 250-248-9754.