Beachburg church gets lift
BEACHBURG – St. Andrew's United Church is now accessible.
On Sunday, the congregation of the Beachburg church held a service to commemorate the installation of a hydraulic lift, one of a series of changes to assist those with mobility issues.
Rev. Kevin Moratz, minister at St. Andrew's, said “this is a special, special day dedicating our lift. It makes our church handicapped accessible.”
The dream began in 2007, when the church board decided to make the building fully accessible. Along with the lift, these plans included upgrading the bathrooms so they can be wheelchair accessible. Fundraising and building committees were formed and plans put in motion which would allow those with disabilities to access to both the sanctuary and the fellowship hall in the basement.
The bathroom renovations were completed in April 2008.
The Accessibility Renovation Fundraising Committee, comprised of Lisa Bradbury, Heather Campbell, Leanne Canniff, Marilyn Labow and Grace and Barry Stephen got to work organizing barbecues, cookbook sales, home shows, music nights, a talk show with author Roy McGregor, boat cruises on the Ottawa River, chili fests and delicious desserts in order to raise the $140,000 needed for the lift.
In September 2012, the building committee got together to get the ball rolling on the lift design. The committee, consisting of Jim and Marilyn Labow, Audrey Cormack, Shirley Collins, Barry Stephen, Keith Haycock and Eleanor McLaughlin hired the architect firm Morris-Thueman to draw up the blueprints.
In November 2016 it came to light the 2012 plans needed to be updated, and since the original architect retired, the committee hired McIntosh Perry Consultants, with Ian Marshall as the project engineer, to do the work and supervise the construction. Marshall suggested the church could save a lot of money if the lift was placed on the exterior of the building.
Bids went out and contractor Ian Wright from WWW Contracting was selected. On May 7, 2017, the church held a sod turning ceremony to mark the start of construction, which led to the March 4 commemoration.