The Parksville Community and Conference Centre (PCCC) is completely accessible, except the stage.
City council received a letter at Monday’s regular meeting from executive director Margaret Spruit pointing out that while the rest of the public facility is wheelchair and scooter accessible, they need a lift to get people onto the stage.
“Basically if we want to get someone onto the stage, it’s terrible to say, but we’d have to manhandle them up there,” Spruit told The NEWS.
She said they have reviewed the possibility of a ramp but have been told by experts the stage is too high and would require a ramp the entire length of the stage, which would either have to be permanent, or they would have to find storage space for it.
She also said a permanent mechanical lift would be considered an elevator requiring expensive renovations and regular inspections.
She suggests in her letter a $9,757 temporary lift is the best option.
“The onus should be on (the city) since they own the building,” she said adding that she has notified them about it in the past and if the PCCC pays for it out of their own budget it will mean cutting other services.
She said they do get questions about it from time to time including for an upcoming provincial candidate’s debate, which organizers have since decided to do without the stage.
She also said it was one of the first things organizers of a major five day accessibility conference in 2015 asked when they booked.
Council unanimously voted to refer the issue to their Accessibility Oceanside Committee for input and a recommendation to come back to their next meeting on April 3.