Faulty elevator traps students in LA Building
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 15:09
The elevator in the Liberal Arts Building has broken down several times this semester making it inconvenient for students with a disability who need access to the elevator to get to class.
A broken elevator violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, meaning the facility and buildings should always have a reliable working elevator for physically disabled students and faculty members. The elevator would cost Contra Costa College $200,000 to replace.
“It affects me a great deal. It’s stress and pain we have to deal with,” Abilities Club President Luanna Waters said.
Waters recently got stuck in the elevator on her way to class and it took an hour for the technician to get her out. She has not been the only person affected by the elevator.
During the second week of this semester, two Middle College High School students also got stuck in the elevator. It took technicians more than an hour to get them out.
Building and Grounds Manager Bruce King is looking to replace the starter and the controller on the elevator, rather than replacing the whole thing.
“We are looking to replace the components (on the elevator),” King said.
King said upgrading the parts is cheaper and it is affordable within the college’s budget. He has received two verbal price quotes, one around $70,000.
The malfunctioning elevator creates an issue for students with a disability. It causes them unnecessary inconveniences, making them take alternate routes just to get to class.
“It’s a time restraint,” Water said. “You wait for the elevator to come and it doesn’t, so you have to go out of your way just to get to your destination.”
Because of the unreliable elevator, some students with a disability have to travel clear around the LA Building and pass through the Physical Sciences Building to get to class on the third floor of the LA Building.
Behavioral sciences major Maurice Coker said it gets him frustrated when the elevator does not work.
“Its been very inconvenient,” he said. “I have to make sure I’m here extra early to make sure I get to class on time.”
Replacing the elevator, rather than fixing it, would be a waste of money since there are plans to tear down the LA Building, as part of the college’s Master Facilities Plan, some time in the next five years, Liberal Arts Division Dean Helen Kalkstein said.
“(The broken elevator) is an example why we need more new buildings on the campus,” Kalkstein said.
CCC’s elevator contract with Otis Elevator Company calls on it to check on all the elevators on campus twice a month. When there is a situation where someone gets stuck Otis is supposed to send someone to fix the problem, King said.
“We have a contract with Otis that says if somebody gets stuck they will be here in the next 30 minutes,” King said.