The Suffolk County Historical Society’s plan to build an new handicapped-accessible wing has just gotten a big boost.
The Society announced Friday it has received a $400,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to help build the new wing, which will include an elevator and two bathrooms designed to accommodate wheelchairs or strollers.
The new wing — which will be named after Mr. Gardiner — will also feature a handicapped parking area on the southeast corner of the SCHS’s West Main Street location.
“I am thrilled that the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has seen the value of this project and has chosen to support it,”said former SCHS director Kathy Curran, who helped obtain the grant when she worked for the historical society. “This gift will help SCHS become a cultural and educational resource for all those having an interest in American and local history. This new addition will also assist SCHS in reaching a broader, more inclusive audience, making the building accessible not only to handicapped visitors but also to families and the elderly,”
The SCHS has budgeted $140,000 of its own money to spend on the project and is mounting a capital campaign to raise the additional $275,000 needed to complete the wing, which will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“It was only three short years ago that the ADA-compliant wing was a draft design,” said SCHS Board President Bob Barauskas. “This funding will help take us from concept to reality, making our facility available to everyone to view the treasures contained within.”
For more information on the Society’s fundraising campaign, contact Kerry McKillop at 631-727-2881 x106 or visit their website at www.suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org.