Regina Hill, DCHS garner accessibilityFor some, this holiday season brought the gift of accessibility. Residents in the six-story Regina Hill apartments at 2415 E. Fifth St. have a working elevator again. And Christmas came early at the Douglas County Historical Society in the form of a new lift.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
For some, this holiday season brought the gift of accessibility. Residents in the six-story Regina Hill apartments at 2415 E. Fifth St. have a working elevator again. And Christmas came early at the Douglas County Historical Society in the form of a new lift.
The Regina Hill building provides apartments for seniors and disabled people. The 1978 building’s single elevator broke down at the end of October. Because the part required to fix the elevator needed to be manufactured, it was a lengthy shutdown.
“We met with tenants every Monday morning to make sure they had what they needed,” said Lisa Knutson, regional manager with Bachand Estates, which owns Regina Hill. Two residents did move from upper floors to the first floor, she said, but no one moved out.
Residents said that after about two weeks, a mechanical “stair chair” was available to bring people up and down the stairs. Staff offered to go door-to-door as needed and a tenant contact on site coordinated the stair chair schedule and any big deliveries like groceries, Knutson said, but for the most part tenants were quite self-sufficient.
As one resident said Thursday, “a lot of people pushed through it.”
The elevator for the 67-unit property was operational Tuesday. Tenants said it is even a bit faster than it used to be.
The historical society unwrapped its new lift in time for the fifth annual 1943 USO Canteen Radio Show, which takes place Saturday and Sunday at the DCHS, 1101 John Ave. The $110,000 project, which included an accessible bathroom and the lift-style elevator, was funded largely through a Community Development Block Grant from the city of Superior. Members of the historical society and the community donated money to offset the rest of the costs.
“A project like this is expensive but worthwhile because some people who are interested in history or like to come to our events haven’t been able to enter our building in the past,” said DCHS executive director Kathy Laakso. “That fact has always been a huge concern of ours. That’s why I can’t say enough about the kindness that has been displayed towards DCHS from so many people.”
City workers, including Dan Curran, Jason Serck, Dan Zuchowski, Coral Noonan and Kim Gralewski helped the historical society with the CDBG process. The city council approved the grant.
Curran also worked with DCHS and Gary LaPorte, the general contractor, to find ways to make the modifications to the 87-year-old building and ways to cut costs by coming up with a list of materials that could be donated.
Board members went out to the community to ask businesses if they would donate, Laakso said, and Campbell’s Building Materials, Tower Plumbing, AA Roll-Off and Sherwin Williams did.
With the June floods, all builders got behind this summer, so detail like trim won’t be finished in the bathroom, but will be operational for the show this weekend, she said.
The lift can be accessed by a south side door, which people can get to along a new curved sidewalk.