Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 16:16
Harrington Beach project has been in the planning stage for six years
After more than six years of waiting, construction for a handicapped-accessible cabin at Harrington Beach State Park in the Town of Belgium is underway.
The state Department of Natural Resources approved the cabin on June 25. Friends of
Harrington Beach members Rhondella
Morgan, Ray Cary and Neil Kraemer attended the meeting and received a plaque on behalf of the efforts of the Friends group.
“Since the founding of the Friends group, accessibility has always been a priority,” Kraemer said.
The 1,200-square-foot structure will be built in memory of Jim Schendel, a quadriplegic who lived in Port Washington and was active in the Friends group before he died in January 2008. It will be fully furnished and sleep six people.
The site where the cabin will be built has been cleared and staked. Construction began earlier this week, Kraemer said.
He hopes to have the cabin ready for camping season next year. The Friends group has raised a little more than $130,000 in donations and in-kind gifts for the cabin, Kraemer said. Donations for the cabin are still being accepted, he said.
All handicapped-accessible cabins are built with donated funds, matching grants, donated professional services from designers, architects, construction project managers and plenty of volunteer labor from local tradesmen, according to the Friends Web site.
“This is a dream come true for Jim. He represented the community of disabled people who love to be outdoors and love to camp but can’t,” Kraemer said.
The cabin will have an accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower, a kitchen with counters that can be used by people in wheelchairs and a screened porch.
Hoyer lifts will be available and all rooms will be large enough for wheelchairs to be maneuvered.
The cabin will be similar to one at Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan and will be the eighth one built in a Wisconsin state park. There are also two rustic cabins in the state.
Volunteers will be needed to help with the project, which will be built by professional sub-contractors. For more information, visit www.friendsofharrington.org, the group’s Facebook page or e-mail