Ti Elks seek community support

TICONDEROGA The Ticonderoga Elks Lodge are seeking community support for their handicap accessibility project. Work has resumed on the installation of a vertical wheelchair lift, similar to an elevator at the Elks lodge. The lodge, located across the street from the Community Building in Ticonderoga, hosts many community organizations as well as regular meetings of the lodge. The meetings and activities primarily take place on the second floor of the building. The project is valued at $86,000, but volunteer labor will reduce that figure. The Elks have also received grants from state Sen. Betty Little and International Paper Co. for the project. Elks are also seeking donations from the public. Donors will be recognized on a board to be placed inside the new entry. It will list the names of contributors or those who have had a contribution made in their name. Contributions of $0-$99 will be engraved in bronze and contributions of $100-$499 will be engraved in silver. Donations of $500 or more will be engraved in gold. Tax-exempt donations can be made by mailing a check payable to NY Elks Major Projects Inc. to Elks Lodge #1494, PO Box 310, Ticonderoga 12993. There is currently a chairlift in place to assist those who find it difficult to climb the stairs. However, there are several problems with the current apparatus, according to Richard Nadeau, trustee of special projects for the Elks. He explained that the chairlift is awkward and uncomfortable for people to use. Older people are sometimes afraid of it, and some people cant transfer from their wheelchair into the chairlift. It also creates the need for someone to carry the wheelchair upstairs. It is often an embarrassing situation for the individual utilizing the chairlift, he explained. The Ticonderoga Elks offer their facility to many groups and organizations in the community and hold many functions throughout the year to benefit veterans, youth, victims of disaster and individuals with physical disabilities. Elks are concerned because some individuals who would like to attend these events and meetings may be intimidated by the stairs and may not come to the lodge. Therefore they are in the process of constructing a new foyer and handicap lift.. The vertical chairlift will alleviate the stress and difficulty of getting upstairs and will also accommodate those who use crutches, walkers or a cane, Nadeau said. The installation of the new system will be costly, because of the cost of the lift itself, in addition to building renovations necessary to accommodate the lift. A small addition has been built on the building front to make room for the lift. Additionally, Niagara Mohawk and Verizon-Time Warner assisted by relocating equipment for the addition. Local architect Joe Vilardo is voluntarily offering his ideas and plans. Reale Construction has helped in determining the project cost. Elks Ray Scott of Ray Scott General Contractor and Dale Harrington of Harrington Home Repair and Care have volunteered to do most of the footing and foundation work.

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