At the congregational meeting on September 23rd, 2012, the members voted overwhelmingly to approve the construction of a new wheelchair-accessible entrance to our church. As seen in this artistic rendering, the plan is for a new door to be built which will open into the sanctuary level. This is meant to assist any and all who are challenged by curbs and stairs. The sanctuary level also has access to the church offices and library, and to the main restrooms including a wheelchair-friendly family restroom.
We will still be short of accessibility to the entire facility. We do have a chair-lift to help persons up the half-flight of stairs to the dining room level. The basement classrooms and youth room do not yet have alternatives to stairs. Our vision at Elgin Covenant is that the ramp into the sanctuary is an important and affordable step in the process of creating a friendlier, more accessible church. The first stage was the chairlift, the second stage was the restroom renovation. This ramp is the third stage. However, additional improvements for complete accessibility will require generous resources; our church has explored grant-writing options and we continue to keep this vision in front of us.
The benefit of accessibility for our church is not only to welcome into our worship service persons who have trouble with curbs and stairs, it is also a benefit for the community organizations that use our facility as they would be able to welcome new participants who are excluded by our facility’s limitations. Charitable organizations and recovery and health groups use our church for weekly, monthly, or occasional events.
If you would like more information about this community-serving vision of complete accessibility and how you can contribute to it, please call Pastor Jonathan at 847-888-2302.