Nearly a year after first being approved, construction is set to begin for an elevator at the Oro Valley Community Center.

In March of 2023, the Town Council unanimously approved the addition of an elevator at the community center.

KGUN 9 first reported on the story in September after some residents began voicing concern about a lack of progress on the project.

Now, the towns engineer, Paul Keesler, says construction is set to begin next week.

“Theyre set to mobilize next week, and then they will be moving full steam ahead,” said Keesler. “It takes time to get these things designed. Were fitting a new elevator into essentially a 40-year-old building.”

Since its opening, the community center has served as a hub for recreational activities for residents like Jim Horn, who said, “I used the community center a lot more before my handicap got worse. As it got worse, I used the community center less.”

While the property is currently compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by providing a ramped entrance into the building, Horn says in 2022 he contacted the federal government to bring in a mediator regarding the lack of an elevator.

“I found that the handicapped entrance was really not good.”

He says after highlighting the issue on a podcast, he and a group of friends lobbied to the town council before then contacting the federal government.

But by the time the mediator was brought in, the project was already approved.

Keesler agrees that the current options for entering the building are not necessarily the best, and when the renovation is complete, residents will notice not only the elevator but also a lowered entrance and additional handicapped parking out front.

“Although we had a means of ADA accessibility, it wasnt pretty and it wasnt easy,” he said. “This is the towns further commitment to providing a better user experience and hopefully getting more people over to the community center.”

Keesler says they hope to have the elevator complete sometime this Fall.