By Valerie Bustamante
LOGOS FEATURE EDITOR
The new elevator in the Administration Building was expected to open Tuesday, March 31, after nearly six months of construction, University of the Incarnate Word officials said.
A certified and licensed state inspector from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations was scheduled to make the final inspections on the elevator shaft Monday, March 30, said Steven Heying, UIW’s director of Facilities, Physical Plant and Ancillary Services.
“This is not the first inspection for the elevator,” said contractor Tony Rivera, owner of Cantera Custom Builders. “There are actually a series of inspections that are required to be made in the process. This one is just going to finalize it to be opened.”
Inspections done in the state of Texas are required to follow Chapter 754 — “Elevators, Escalators, and Related Equipment” – of the Health and Safety Code from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations.
According to the chapter, the inspector is to issue a inspection report to the owner of the elevator no later than the fifth day after the initial inspection day. The inspectors are also to issue a certificate of compliance only if all requirements were met during inspection. This certificate of compliance then needs to be placed inside the elevator.
The new elevator located in the southern entryway from the main entranceway of the Administration Building near Hortencia’s was originally expected to be a five-month job from its start in late September to completion in late February. However, rainy weather caused some delay along with some smaller issues such as tight hallway space and the adaption of a new structure to an older one.
The cab and shaft installed will be from the ThyssonKrupp brand, a company which designs elevators and escalators meant to sustain heavy-duty operations. It will be similar to the one located in the building housing the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions.
The new elevator cab is 6 feet by 8 feet and will hold up to 15 passengers.
The initial budget for the project was $750,000, but it has reached an estimated $759,491.
When the old residence halls on the third and fourth floors were converted into more classroom and office spaces, there was an increase in foot traffic on the stairs and more pressure on the existing elevator, which has been out of operation more than in lately.
Some classes originally scheduled in the Administration Building have had to move to other buildings with operating elevators for accessibility accomdations.
“I definitely find that the elevator will be more effective for all of us, but I’m a little bit anxious to see when it opens,” said Alégna Severson, a freshman interdisciplinary studies major. “With the inspection being Monday I wouldn’t be too sure about riding it yet. I think I’m going to wait a little while to use it. I think I’m still going to be taking the stairs, which I don’t mind.”