Petrolia Legion needs $300k of work

·2 min read

The Petrolia Legion is on a mission to make its hall accessible to all.

The organization needs to raise between $250,000 to $300,000 for the work.

“The halls is not accessible,” said Legion President Alex Billings.

The building was constructed in the early 1950s with an addition in 1967. Much of the work was done by volunteers at that time. A stairlift is available to get people up and down the stairs at the front entrance, leading to the upper and lower halls.

Robert White, who serves as the poppy chair and has taken the lead on this project, said those using wheelchairs aren’t able to use the washrooms or get in and out of the chair lift which allows some to get up and down the stairs.

The Legion plans to install an elevated platform, which can transport a wheelchair up the stairs.

In the front of the building, a ramp will be installed with the front deck level with the door.

A universal bathroom for both sexes will be added, which can give the space needed for someone with mobility issues. The organization has a timeline of one year to get this work done, as it must be in compliance with government regulations by July 2023.

The issue has caused problems in the past. There have been people who could not rent the hall due to their mobility issues, said White.

The Legion is one of the biggest halls in the community for functions with the capacity being 230 in the upstairs hall, 70 in the club room and 50 in the president’s room.

The Legion currently has between 125 and 130 members, which is a far cry from the 400 members it had in 1967 when the building’s addition was constructed.

That makes raising the funds difficult.

“We are burnt out,” White said of the volunteers who work to keep the Legion functioning. This is not much different than many other local organizations.

A number of fundraising events have been held including a classic car show Saturday

Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent