Greenwood Senior Center gets a lift for accessibility

By ana-maria

by Eric Jusino, Facilities Director

When folks return to the Greenwood Senior Center when it’s safe, they’ll be greeted with a new feature: a platform lift to navigate the two-story building, plus more space improvements.

In the fall/winter of 2020, PNA partnered with SHKS Architects and G3 builders to install a vertical platform lift and make related space improvements at the Greenwood Senior Center. The project was funded by King County’s G3 builders.

The work included demolishing an office to make room for the lift itself, installing the lift, reconfiguring office space upstairs, and redesigning the downstairs to make better use of the limited space we have.

Bringing accessibility to the GSC

The GSC building was originally built as a medical office, without accessibility in mind. It’s a 2-story structure without an elevator. The only way from floor to floor is via interior stairs or to go outside and around the building via a steeply sloping driveway. PNA took over Greenwood Senior Center’s operations in 2006, and has been since been talking about ways to make the site more accessible. The opportunity to install a grant-funded lift arose in 2019, and we took it.

What we did

In late 2019, SHKS Architects performed a feasibility study and helped us choose a vertical platform lift as the most cost-effective solution for our needs. SHKS also helped us find a contractor qualified to do the work. Site preparation, which included wall demolition and lots of furniture moving by a volunteer team from SHKS, began at the end of October 2020.

Construction work began in mid-November, including hazmat mitigation to prepare the workspaces and some more demolition. Construction is complete, and as of Feb 11, 2021, we’re waiting on final inspection before cutting the ribbon and riding the lift.

Cassie in construction area

Cecily behind a window being installed

Cecily in front of the lift

Here’s a short description of the significant changes we made at GSC:

  • Mitigated hazmats to enable work
  • Moved director’s office and re-routed heating lines to make room for the lift shaft
  • Built the lift shaft and installed a vertical platform lift
  • Modified the Sun Room to accommodate the director’s office and one small additional office
  • Added doors(!) and changed a wall in the West Room to create the lift entry
  • Changed a wall in the Lapidary Room to create lift entry, increasing storage space
  • Demolished Computer Technology Center (CTC) wall and moved the East Room further east into old CTC space
  • Created two new rooms in old east room space
  • Added doors to East Room
  • Built closet around grease trap in East Room
  • Reconfigured electrical and fire alarm infrastructure to accommodate all of the above

What’s next?

Stay tuned for an official ribbon-cutting and first lift ride video. We hope the lift will be useful for in-person programming at GSC when public health and safety allow it. In the meantime, we’re working with a few programs that can operate safely within COVID-19 guidelines.

Progress videos

Facilities Director Eric guides us through the changes as they happen!

November 11, 2020 

December 12, 2020

January 15, 2021

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SKHS Architects