Lack of elevation
Elevators across school still not operational
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 13:02
For more than 60 years Contra Costa College’s doors have been open to those who seek an educational journey.
The college’s elevators, on the other hand, are another story all their own.
For the past five months the elevator in the Liberal Arts Building has been out of order.
The elevator in the Applied Arts Building broke down the first week of spring classes in January.
And plans to install an elevator in the Gym Annex Building have taken 10 years to complete, only to be delayed again last fall.
Because the college resides on a sloping hill and buildings have multiple floors, elevators at CCC play a pivotal role in transporting students to their classes.
They provide easy passage to lower and higher levels of buildings and up and down hills to all students — especially those with disabilities.
An out of commission elevator not only makes it difficult for students with disabilities to make it to their classes on time, it just makes it difficult for them in general.
Five months to fix a single elevator is a long time.
And in taking so long CCC is now hindering its students, rather than helping them.
During the repairs, students with disabilities must go out of their way and take routes to their classes that take way more time and effort.
These students do all of this, while still paying $46 a unit and a $5 activity fee just like everybody else.
Repairing the LA Building elevator should have been a top priority of college officials in October when the breakdown occurred. If it had been, students would not have been greatly inconvenienced.
But, not tending to the needs of disabled students immediately, possibly because they aren’t a vocal group on campus, amounts to discrimination.
And, waiting so long to fix a real problem for students is plain lazy.
College administrators should learn from the LA Building situation and fix the AA Building elevator as fast as possible — and speed up the existing slow pace in installing an elevator in the 52-year-old GA Building.
College is a place where people come to receive an education.
And through Title III Regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, public accommodations must be made accessible to all people.
Disabled students may still have access to their classes, but they’re being forced to take a rigorous hike around campus — all while the college has been slow to do anything to fix the problem.