And so it begins. This past week, phase 2 of the CVCDA’s Accessibility Project got underway behind the CVCDA on 3rd Street, downtown Courtenay. The team here were all very excited to see the first phase of our Accessibility Project (lower ramp) completed back at the end of March. When all phases are complete, the Accessibility Project will see improvements made to the accessibility of our main parking lot and accessible entry ways.

Completed lower ramp

Completed phase one of the CVCDA’s Accessibility Project, lower accessible ramp.

So far, phase two of construction has seen the existing upper accessible ramp demolished to make room for the new and improved upgrade. The new ramp will be at a much more friendly slope for all who use them. Additionally, it will be wider and provide more space at the entry way for maneuvering in and out.

For clients and families parking and accessing our buildings for services, there may be some varying instructions from your service providers in advance of any scheduled appointments. During this time, we will also make an exception for families to use the main front entry to avoid the construction zone surrounding the rear upper ramp access. We will continue to add updates and more details about the project here until the upper ramp is completed.

We are continually striving to provide physical locations for our services that are not only welcoming but inclusive to all who utilize them. Both the upper and lower ramps were deteriorating with age and were considered dangerously steep for those using them in wheelchairs. Not only were they unsafe but the ramps in some instances would damage the wheelchairs.

Our Accessibility Project Fund has come together through a number of supporters including fundraising done through our very own 45th CVCDA Children’s Telethon,

Many local businesses and local Rotary clubs have also combined forces to support this project. Angela Zumbo of the Rotary Club of Comox Valley is spearheading the Rotary’s collaboration in their support with both funds and people power.

I’m so happy our Comox Valley, Comox and Courtenay clubs are joining forces to improve accessibility at CVCDA. We were inspired to take on this Rotary project because it aligns perfectly with our goals to help vulnerable kids and families, and it also gives us the opportunity to really roll up our sleeves to make a difference for the Valley. The current wheelchair ramp is pretty treacherous – it’s a serious challenge for folks today. I’m excited for the new design to get built to see the positive impact in our community and support the CVCDA.~Angela Zumbo, Past President of the Rotary Club of Comox Valley

Lacasse Construction lead by Owner, Cale Lacasse are once again supporting the CVCDA through all phases of construction on this project as they have done on many past building projects at the CVCDA. Lacasse has also brought with them a team of supporting contractors to the job including Edgett Excavating, Valley Creative Concrete, Dalron Home Improvements and Cumberland Ready Mix.

Finally, we were lucky enough to once again acquire the engineering services of McElhanney and professional Architect, Phillipa Atwood to create the exterior building and ramp designs (shown above) to compliment her existing Comox Valley Autism Centre design, located adjacent the courtyard.

Following phase 2, to be completed end of summer, 2021, we look forward to the remaining phase of paving the main CVCDA parking lot .

We have been enjoying seeing this design come to life. Follow along on our Phase 2 progress in the galleries below.

PHASE 2 GALLERY

Week 1 (Rotary work party/demo day and first forms)
Week 2
Week 3
Weeks 4 – 5 (a ramp is shaping up)

Check back for more photos until phase 2 completed.