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LU/LA Elevator in Grace Fellowship Church

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Grace Fellowship Church façade

When Grace Fellowship Church, housed in a small 1930s-era brick structure in Waterloo, Iowa, found that more and more congregants were having trouble accessing all three of its floors due to mobility problems, they called on nearby Schumacher Elevator Co. in Denver, Iowa, to find a solution. “Working with church leaders, Schumacher provided a 1400-lb. limited-use/limited-application (LU/LA) elevator that was both affordable and practical — in other words,” says Sales Representative Steve DeVries, “it was a perfect fit for their needs.”

Grace Fellowship Church, formerly Grace Brethren Church, is nestled in a residential district in Waterloo, which has a population of approximately 68,000. With a congregation of 134, the church offers weekly services, classes and social events on all three levels: basement (social area/classes), main (sanctuary/offices) and second (youth room). The building effectively provides space for all church activities, but handicapped access proved to be an issue.

For nearly 75 years, any wheelchair-bound person needed to be carried up and down the stairs, which also proved unsafe and challenging for people using walkers or canes. Social gatherings, classes and meals were held in the basement, so some church members could not attend those events. As loyal church members aged, it became increasingly difficult for them to attend church. Striving to include all members in services and events, church leaders decided to invest in an elevator, hiring Schumacher to help turn their vision into a reality.

Grace Fellowship Church wanted a unit with features similar to a commercial elevator but with a smaller pricetag. Schumacher‘s LU/LA elevator fit both requirements. When it was built, there were no plans to include an elevator in the building. Consequently, it was challenging to find a location to accommodate a hoistway. Schumacher representatives visited the building several times to help guide the church in deciding where to install the elevator.

Since it is close to handicapped parking, the back of the church was selected. Schumacher installed a three-stop front-/side-opening elevator. To keep costs low, minimize installation disruption and maintain the façade, the church decided to add an alleyway entrance.

Both church leaders and congregants are delighted with their LU/LA elevator. Mark Traetow, vice president of Field Operations, stated:

“It has proven to be a worthy investment, and it gives church members the multilevel access they need. Schumacher continues to service the elevator and looks forward to keeping it operating at optimum performance for years to come.”

Although it provides access for people with mobility issues, Schumacher’s LU/LA elevator does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Customers who need ADA compliance are asked to consult a Schumacher sales professional for guidance. Here are some of the unit’s features:

  • Distance: up to 25 ft. (45 ft. where codes allow)
  • Speed: 30 fpm
  • Stops: up to five
  • Openings: front, rear or side
  • Machine type: direct acting or roped hydraulic
  • Machine location: adjacent to lowest level
  • Minimum pit depth: 3 X 6 ft.
  • Minimum overhead: 10 X 10 ft. above top landing
  • Power supply: 220 V one phase, 60 cycle; threephase power available
  • Car design: plastic laminate sidewall cab; custom interiors available
  • Car size: 3 X 6 ft. wide, 5 ft. deep
  • Control system: one-button collective
  • Hoistway doors: 3 X 7 ft. wide, 5 ft. deep
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