By Valerie Bustamante
LOGOS FEATURES EDITOR
The new elevator in the Administration Building has been delayed for opening to riders due to the exterior buttons not functioning correctly, an official said.
The elevator is functioning when operated by keys inside but it is not yet capable of being operated regularly until the exterior buttons are replaced on each floor.
“It has been given a ‘yes,’” said Steve Heying, director of facilities physical plant and ancilliary services at the University of the Incarnate Word. “We can use it now.”
However, “in the supplying of the elevator the buttons are supposed to work, but these do not,” Heying said. “So, in the meantime what we have to use is the key service. When you use the key, it will operate the elevator, so once you’re in the elevator it can work regularly.”
Heying also said there have been problems with the contractor, Cantera Customer Builders, and Thyssen.
“Thyssen has taken this problem into their own hands,” Heying said. “It’s 100 percent their problem and they are going to fix it.”
There is not a specific date on when the functioning buttons will arrive on campus from Thyssen for installation. Heying said it can take up to two or three weeks for the new buttons to be installed.
While the older elevator is out of order, there will be a sign posted on the outside listing who can be reached for accommodations. These accommodations will have someone with the service key go and operate the elevator for the individual who needs assistance — the only option until the new buttons arrive, are installed and working.
Meanwhile, students, faculty and staff are coping with an old elevator that is in and out of service frequently. The initial timeframe for the new elevator was five months after work started in early October. Originally slated to open in late February, it appears the new elevator won’t be ready at all before the spring semester ends. Final inspections for the new elevator were supposed to have been made Monday, March 30, and it was expected to have been opened Tuesday, March 31.
“They need to get their stuff together,” said Kyle Wolf, a sophomore communication arts major concentrating in production. “I think they need to try and start solving the problems. It needs to get done because we have students with disabilities who are getting stuck on floors and it’s unacceptable. So they need to work it out.”
“Well, (the new elevator is) really useless right now,” business management major Nick Benavidez said. “It seems like it’s never gonna open up.”
The new elevator was built to accommodate the heavy foot traffic that has built up on the stairs these last few years, but also to lower the pressure that’s been put on the older elevator since residential students were moved from the third and fourth floors and replaced by offices and classrooms.
When the new elevator eventually opens up, faculty members on the third floor hope to host an unofficial ribbon cutting in honor of it.
“My colleague, Dr. Emily Clark (an associate professor of English), and I are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the initial operation of the new AD elevator,” said Dr. Héctor Pérez, an associate professor of English.
“We hope others on the floor will join us,” Perez said. “So far, none of the individuals working on it has been able to tell when the first run will be. We are on standby.”