MedCamps making improvements to Camp Alabama

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 10:52 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - MedCamps of Louisiana is making some big changes. The summer camp helps kids with special needs and disabilities and it’s free of charge to those who attend. That’s why Executive Director Caleb Seney says the community’s support is so important.

Currently, they’re working on raising funds for their next project.

“We’ve committed to spending $150,000 to replace every asphalt surface at Camp Alabama with concrete and to pave access to new areas of camp that we’ve never had wheelchair access to before,” says Seney. “[…] Earlier this year we spent about $30,000 dollars replacing water lines at Camp Alabama, so there’s all-new water access everywhere throughout camp.”

Hutton Hall is also more accessible after a massive renovation costing about $550,000. It was finished last year as the pandemic hit, and Seney says the original structure was built in the 1950s.

“Our bathrooms are fully accessible, our kitchen is fully accessible, so this is considered a barrier-free facility,” says Seney.

MedCamps has been partnering with Louisiana Tech’s architecture program for years, creating new structures to give kids a chance to experience adventures regardless of their disabilities. This year, they’re building a new entrance to the camp.

“Whether it’s archery or canoeing or a new zip line through the woods it’s always different, always presents a new problem for us to walk the students through and a new whole conceptual framework, new set of construction challenges,” says Brad Deal, Associate Professor of Architecture at Louisiana Tech.

“It’s a great experience, we teach them the consequences of their design decisions, they draw it on paper, they put it in the computer, then they have to come out here and build it - it’s a rush,” says Robert Brooks, Associate Professor of Architecture at Louisiana Tech.

Seney says last year the pandemic put a hold on building the physical part of their project, but they were able to create a 25-year master plan, creating achievable goals for camp.

He says the entrance will pave the way for expanding camp with new additions they’ll unveil in the coming months.

“We hope that by the end of the master plan session, we’re launching into a new one, but when it’s done this place is going to be magnificent,” says Seney.

You can donate to MedCamps’ sidewalk project here.

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