MSC and library elevators undergo repairs and renovations

By Alyssa Stewart, NEWS EDITOR
On March 6, 2019

The Marshall Student Center (MSC) and the library are two of the central hubs on campus with constant foot traction. However, for most of the spring semester, the elevators have been a factor in slowing the momentum down.

One of the two elevators in the MSC has been out of service since the end of January and was reopened this week. The library is also out two of its three elevators due to renovations and machine failure.

Associate Director for Operations Jennifer Hernandez said the MSC has replaced the elevator part which cost $19,685, including the engineering.

“(We are replacing) a Hollister Whitney “safety” specifically engineered to replace an obsolete component,” Hernandez said in an email to The Oracle. “The component allows the elevator to carry a load that exceeds 5,000 lbs.”

Hernandez said the part took approximately five weeks to arrive and was repaired immediately after, which is why it was able to be in service this week.

The library also faced an unexpected machine failure during its $1 million renovation project.

With elevator three out for order and elevator two under renovations, that leaves elevator one as the only working elevator in the library right now.

Elevator two is scheduled to open the week of March 18 with the new renovations. These upgrades include new buttons and controls, door chimes, indicators, guides and cables and a new interior.

Manager of Library Operations and Facilities Terry Hutchings said the third elevator “suffered a catastrophic machine failure” which is why it had to be temporarily shut down.

The machine bearing failure did not cause any harm to the riders.

“When the unit fails, safety switches prevent it from working and it parks until it can be repaired,”  Hutchings said in an email to The Oracle. “From a rider perspective, it just would not go to the next floor when you tried to get in it. The mechanic called the bearing failure catastrophic, meaning it was beyond repair.”

Assistant Director of Administrative Services Aaron Nichols could not provide a cost for elevator three’s repairs because the renovation project affects its status.

“It is a priority for us to get the elevators back online as soon as possible,” Nichols said in an email to The Oracle. “To that end, our contractor has agreed to accelerate their schedule to restore the elevators earlier than planned.”

Hutchings said it would be a waste of time and resources to replace elevator three’s part since it is about to have renovations done.

“It was decided that instead of wasting money on a replacement part for an obsolete unit, that may not have arrived by the time elevator two opened anyway, the elevator would undergo renovations immediately,” Hutchings said.

There have been complaints from some students who are frustrated with the wait times, according to Hutchings. He said the plan was always to have at least two elevators operating at once to reduce wait times, but the third elevator was not something the facilities team expected.

“(Students) seem to understand that the renovations will be worth the pain now,” Hutchings said.

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