2012-01-18 / Community

New lift makes library more accessible

The Times Record


RAY KIMBALL from Garaventa Lifts, hands over the keys for the new wheelchair lift to John Robbins, trustee for Orr’s Island Library. 
COURTESY OF JOHN ROBBINS RAY KIMBALL from Garaventa Lifts, hands over the keys for the new wheelchair lift to John Robbins, trustee for Orr’s Island Library. COURTESY OF JOHN ROBBINS HARPSWELL — After 107 years, the Orr’s Island Library is now accessible to disabled and mobility impaired patrons, according to a press release.

“The staircase in front of the historic building has been an impediment since its original construction and subsequent incarnations for all those years,” the release states.

Removal of the staircase 14 months ago led to a new walkway that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and a wheelchair lift that was inaugurated Jan. 3

The lift is made by Garaventa Lifts of Manchester, N.H., and will accommodate a wheelchair-bound patron — or one with walking or other impairments — and one attendant.

The ultimate goal of the nearly $500,000 construction and renovation project at the library was to make the building ADA compliant for the population the library serves.

In addition, a new reading room at the Orr’s Island Library opened to the public on Dec. 10.

Funds for the project included more than $40,000 in donations to the library in the fourth quarter of 2011.

According to the press release, the Maine Community Foundation, the Alfred M. Senter Fund, the town of Harpswell and legacy gifts from Al Moren all helped the library bring in $40,500.

The town donated a total $15,000, with $5,000 from the Maine Community Foundation and $3,000 from the Senter Fund.

The final phase of the renovation project to refurbish the original reading room will take place this year.

Donations from Al Moren in memory of his wife, Sue Fisher Moren, will fund the renovation work on the historic reading room, the release states.

The remainder of the renovation project is being financed through Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union in Brunswick.

Return to top