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Elevator encounters plan delay

By George Morin, associate editor
On November 5, 2012

Installation of an elevator in the 40-year-old Gym Annex Building is now scheduled for fall 2013, once again delaying second floor access to students with disabilities.
The original plans to finish the project in fall 2012 have been pushed back to next year due to difficulties designing the lift, Contra Costa College Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said.
Half a million dollars from the 2002 Measure A Bond will go to putting an elevator in the northwest corner of the GA Building by the tennis courts, CCC Capital Projects Manager Burl Toler said.
Athletic Director John Wade said, "It's unfortunate that the project has been delayed. It's very important that they get this project done so we can finally make the second floor accessible to all students."
King said accessibility to the building's top floor for disabled students has been an issue for years.
The elevator unit will be easier to put into place on the side of the building by the tennis courts, Toler said.
Toler said the delay for completion is due to design issues with the lift's fire alarm system. The system's conduit will alert local authorities if there is an emergency within the lift.
He said the steps to completion include a bidding process for construction before getting an approval by the Governing Board.
Then, there must be an approval of the design by the Division State Architects before construction can start.
The GA Building is the only multi-story building on campus without an elevator. One classroom on the top floor, GA-50, is used by the physical education department to hold lecture-based classes needed to transfer or graduate.
As an alternative, the courses are held in other large lecture rooms, including LA-100.
Physical education department Chairperson Beth Goehring teaches one of two courses that were moved from GA-50 and said the installation of an elevator in the building has been "long overdue."
"I've been requesting an elevator in this building for at least 10 years now," she said. "Every time I have class in (LA-100), I have to bring my teaching items like my anatomy skeleton, which can be quite difficult. If we could hold classes in GA-50, it would make it a lot easier to move my equipment around."
Goehring said most offices in the GA Building are also located on the second floor, increasing the level of difficulty for disabled students to reach their professors during office hours.
Behavioral sciences major Michael Coker said, "It's irresponsible that this project has taken so long to be completed."

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