“An important part of the recreation services we provide is ensuring that they are as accessible as possible for all members of our community,” said Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain. “Practically speaking, it means that people with limited mobility can now access our gym services to improve their health and can also access the arena to watch their friends and family play hockey.”
This project improves accessibility in community venues. One lift was installed in the aquatic building and enables users to access the weight room on the second floor. Another lift was placed near the gym to allow access to upstairs classrooms.
The installation of these devices enhance the user experience for everyone who uses the space, from regulars who visit the weight room multiple times a week to the 51 basketball teams who compete in the annual All Native Basketball Tournament. Teams, their support staff, family and spectators come from all over British Columbia and places in Alaska for this prestigious seven-day tournament.
The All Native Basketball Tournament attracts nearly 3,000 people to Prince Rupert each year, including approximately 600 athletes. With the completion of these accessibility upgrades the Prince Rupert Recreation Complex is able to host more people and ensure that all the spectators can gather together to cheer on their favourite players. The benefits of the installation of the two stair lifts has benefits that reach beyond the All Native Basketball Tournament to a variety of other events that are held at the complex.
Funding for the project came from a variety of organizations including the City of Prince Rupert, Rick Hansen Foundation, Northern Development, Northern Savings and Credit Union Community Funding and B.C. Rehab.