A couple of months ago, one of the Partners asked if anyone would be interested in volunteering to build a ramp through the Home Builders Foundation for a wheelchair bound 12 year old girl. He got an overwhelming response from the staff. The next step was for the HBF to finalize all of the details (schedule, donations, etc.) but before we knew it, the big day had come.
The weekend before last, members of the KGA staff (with two sons) and folks from McStain Neighborhoods armed with tools and bunches of enthusiasm showed up to build the ramp. We started relatively early in the morning, unloading donated materials necessary to build the ramp. A big shout out to Universal Forest Products for supplying the ramp materials.
Most of the demolition was already done. And, thankfully, for the first time in days, there was no rain (we were building a ramp, not an ark!!) “There were no assigned tasks, everyone just jumped in and started doing what they could and it went smoothly (i.e. there were no injuries!!)” said Bart Coleman, Project Manager at KGA Studio Architects.
Pizza was delivered mid-day and everyone enjoyed a brief, but much needed break and then right back at it. By the end of the day, 70 percent of the ramp had been built; it was a fairly large project, requiring a platform and stairs from the main entrance and three sections of ramping with two more landings, hand rails, and pickets.
Ten volunteers, two weekends, 160 hours, 90 pickets and 50 feet of ramp later, the project was completed! We had a great time working with others in the field, learned a lot, taxed our brains with complicated math (angles and slopes), and did something really rewarding. The project left us slightly sunburned, a little bruised, and just south of exhausted but counting our blessings.
Home Builders Foundation of Metro Denver
If you aren’t familiar with the Home Builders Foundation, they are a Denver-based nonprofit that provides accessible home modifications for individuals with a physical disability and financial need. They install ramps, widen doors, install handrails, modify bathrooms, and more. Their work changes lives, allowing people to remain in their homes and regain their independence. All this is done at no cost to the recipient, made possible through volunteers and donations.
About the author: Noelle Coleman is the Studio Coordinator for KGA Studio Architects, PC.