The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) needs about $6,000 more to install a new elevator as part of its Capital Campaign.
The Capital Campaign has raised about $5.3 million so far to purchase the site and buildings from the Seattle School District, create a more accessible campus both inside and outside, construct a more welcoming entry way and community plaza, perform seismic upgrades, repair the Brick Building’s slate roof and the main sewer line between the two buildings, update the boiler, insulate both buildings, and install an elevator in the Blue Building to make it more accessible to everyone.
The elevator will be installed in the current front entryway, about where the soda machine is now. The PNA received a grant from Wyncote Foundation NW several months ago, and is using part of that grant for the elevator. Community leaders, including Red Mill Burgers and several individual donors, also contributed, for a total of $60,000, and are challenging the community to come up with an additional $30,000 to help pay for it.
PNA Development Director Ann Bowden said 157 community members have contributed $23,840 towards that goal, leaving $6,160 to go by the end of the year.
The total cost for the elevator, entryway, community plaza and seismic work is expected to cost about $1.6 million, and the PNA still needs about $175,000 to meet that. Bowden said they are working on a few more grants and will probably have another fundraiser in the spring.
“We’ve raised almost $5.3 million, we’ve done some pretty significant repairs, and we’ve done all this in the middle of the recession,” PNA Executive Director Lee Harper said proudly. “We’re incrementalists here at the PNA. This is the next increment. We’re getting the elevator so we don’t have to carry 95-year-old women up the stairs to the Beer Taste.”
That actually happened last summer. Harper said Jeannette Miss came to the Summer Beer Taste with her granddaughter to celebrate her 95th birthday , and both were dismayed to find steep stairs to the second floor. So a group of men got together and carried Miss in her wheelchair up the stairs.
Four men carry 95-year-old Jeannette Miss in her wheelchair up the stairs to last summer’s Beer Taste. Photo courtesy of the PNA.
“You always talk about accessibility, and that right there is the problem. We cannot serve our whole community,” Harper said.
The PNA hopes to begin construction of the elevator in spring of 2012.
(Disclosure: We’ve donated to the Capital Campaign.)