By Valerie Bustamante
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Construction is expected to begin around mid-month on the Administration Building’s second elevator, administrators said.
The new elevator’s construction is estimated to take about five months, said Steven Heying, director of facilities management, physical plant and ancillary services.
“It is estimated to start very soon as soon as we finalize everything,” Heying said. “I mean it still is in the permitting phase. So, it could start in the next month or so and it is projected to last 150 days. That doesn’t necessarily mean though it will be done in those 150 days.”
A ThyssenKrupp elevator is what will be installed on the south side of the building with a cab of about 6 feet by 8 feet with the weight limit of up to 15 passengers. Its projected cost: $750,000.
There are more than 39 elevators on the Main Campus. However, the Administration Building – the oldest — only houses one. The existing elevator is one of two choices that students, staff and faculty have to maneuver from the basement to the fourth floor. The stairs constitute the other choice. However, the stairs are narrow and become congested between classes as students, staff and faculty travel up and down the building.
“During the last several years the University has been converting residence halls in the upper floors of the Administration Building into classroom space and faculty offices,” said Doug Endsley, vice president for business and finance. “This has resulted in more traffic going into the upper floors. The effect is that there is too much demand on the one existing elevator.
“This spring the University decided to convert the last of the residence hall space on the fourth floor into more classroom and faculty offices. This last conversion precipitated the decision to install a second elevator.
“Several locations for the second elevator were considered. We decided to install the elevator in the southern entryway on the Broadway side of the building near Hortencia’s. The location is between the center and south wings of the building.”
During construction, the existing entrance to the basement level will be closed off and a new entryway will be constructed to the left of that entryway where the basement level vending machines were located prior to being removed. The breezeways on the second and fourth floor will become two of the entrance/exits for the elevator.
“The sidewalk and door to the entryway will also be lowered to the ground-floor level making the entry ADA-accessible,” Endsley said. (ADA is an acronym for the federal Americans with Disabilities Act).
Dr. Emily Clark, an associate professor of English, will lose some window space in her third-floor office to the new elevator.
“The windows I will lose already face a brick wall, so that isn’t a problem,” Clark said. “However, I think having the new elevator is absolutely a positive thing. It especially gives students, faculty, and staff who cannot use the stairs a second option when the other one breaks down and will help with the tremendous amount of traffic that comes through the AD Building.”
All walkways between the center and south wings will remain open during construction. There may be brief closures, but no classes or office hours will become interrupted.
Sophomore Justice Ureste welcomes the second elevator and thinks it’s a great idea for the Administration Building.
“I say this, knowing that I have felt uncomfortable with the amount of space provided to travel through floor levels,” Ureste said. “By installing a new elevator it ensures the safety of all students is met, especially those with disabilities. I think as a university that emphasizes making reasonable accommodations. This a good start.”