Barrier-Free access for all.
At the Society’s Annual General Meeting held on March 24, 2022, the following motions were passed:
i) Be it resolved that the Board is empowered to seek dissolution of the Peachland Historic School Accessible Plaza Society from the Registry as soon as is practical; and
ii) That the balance of funds be donated to the District of Peachland with a request that they be applied to accessibility improvements at the Historic School.
Press Release from Peachland Historic School Accessible Plaza Society
The Peachland Historic School Accessible Plaza Society (PHSAPS) is sad to announce that it is suspending its efforts to raise funds for completion of its accessibility project at the Historic School. The Society will not be dissolved, and may at a later date re-start its efforts to complete the project. However, rising construction costs and diminishing grant opportunities make continued pursuit of the project unrealistic at this time.
“This was not a decision we wanted to take, but we have to deal with reality,” said Ted Cave, President of the Society. ”Project costs have ballooned and grant sources have shrunk. We will review our closure decision at the end of 2022, and decide at that time, on a future course of action.”
Deborah Livingstone, a PHSAPS director and President of the Peachland Community Arts Council echoed those comments. “As a partner in this project, the Arts Council will continue to hold dear the prospect of making the Historic School a vibrant, fully accessible, community hub, enhanced by the addition of outdoor programming space. We are sad that this goal has to be postponed and hope that in a post-pandemic era, construction costs will revert to a more normal level.”
The Society is grateful for the encouragement and support it has received from the community. Grants and donations received will either be retained by the Society for future project use, or, in the case of contributions conditional on project completion, returned to the provider. No funds will be disposed of for purposes other than those for which they were intended.
Contact: Ted Cave, President, PHSAPS
December 6, 2021
Community supporters have partnered with the Arts Council to build this inviting, barrier-free plaza that will provide everyone with easy access into the school. The plaza will also serve as programmable outdoor space for art exhibitions, concerts, and other events.
The addition of sloped walkways allows easy access for community members with mobility challenges.
We need this important cultural space to be barrier-free for everyone.
Our Building and Cultural Center
From 1908 when it was built, until its closure in 2003, generations of Peachland children were educated in this schoolhouse. Due to its dilapidated condition, it sat disused and boarded-up for several years after closure. With estimated restoration costs approaching $1 million the prospect of demolition loomed. Thanks to grants, community donations, in-kind support and a District contribution (and thanks to the discovery of one of BC’s biggest bat colonies living in the attic) “Save the School” efforts prevailed. In 2014 the beautifully restored building was re-opened for community use.
As tenant of the Peachland Historic School the Peachland Community Arts Council curates the beautiful Mary Smith art gallery, hosts concerts, lectures, and other cultural events, programs the space, and operates the Visitor Centre. Here, locals and the thousands of tourists that arrive every year can learn about the amazing bat colony roosting in the attic, find out the history of Peachland and that of our Westbank First Nations neighbours, and be regaled with ever evolving stories of the lake monster, Ogopogo.
Accessibility is important to our community.
Previous community sponsored projects include this barrier-free 120m long pier designed to help mobility challenged users enjoy lakeside fishing and other restful activities. A ramp and aquatic wheelchair installed at the popular Swim Bay beach is another. A third is the cluster of outdoor musical instruments waiting to be enjoyed by anyone arriving at the end of Peachland’s famous multi-use pathway.
Creating barrier-free access to Peachland’s cultural hub will be an expensive proposition and our Society will be working tirelessly to generate the $400,000 we need.
Please help us to Ramp-up this project!