Senior citizens living at the Will Rogers Senior Apartments on Stuart Roosa got a big, Thanksgiving surprise from the Cherokee Nation in the form of a new elevator.
The Cherokee Nation Housing Authority constructed the apartments across from the high school in 1984.
Recently the elevator has had some issues, but it could not be taken out of service for major repairs because of the number of residents with accessibility needs on the second floor.
For over $100,000, the nation was able to put in a second, new elevator and elevator shaft.
“They have an elevator and a back-up elevator now, which is wonderful,” said Cherokee Nation Councilor Keith Austin, concerned about the safety of senior citizens in the event of an emergency.
“We wanted to make sure the building was up to modern standards and that our elders were living with level of dignity they deserve,” he said.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskins Jr. said "I commend Councilman Austin and the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation for working together once again to improve this facility to better serve our elders."
A number of the apartments residents and employees had positive things to say about the elevator including that it was larger, and therefore more accessible in an emergency, and that it was a faster and smoother ride than their older elevator.
“I’ve always felt safe here, it’s a good place to live,” one resident said, but with the new elevator, “I feel even better about safety.”