Library elevators working sporadically after water damage

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The north elevator in the library is working occasion because of water damage from heavy rainfall. However, staff still recommends that students take the stairs to get to the upper floors.
PHOTO/Kate Luce

By: KATE LUCE

Staff-Writer

katelucellc@gmail.com

 

The heavy rainfall that closed campus, caused River Crossing to be evacuated, and campus-wide damage might too be the cause of the Frank D. Schurz’s Library’s elevator damage that has become an issue over the past week.

The north elevator had been having issues well before the rain started, but after the storm hit, issues water ruined the electronic units of the south elevator.

The elavators are letting students off on the right floor occasionally, but once they are called down, they are stuck on the same floor. Ultimately, this forces students, staff and faculty to use the stairs to get to their floor.

“We have put out messages on social media and on the library website, so if you go to the library’s homepage there is a warning. There is a warning saying that one elevator is down and the other is working intermittently,” Angie Huff, library business operations manager, said.

The stairs are more than a mere inconvenience for some students. Students with disabilities are limited to where they can go. If they cannot go up to grab a book or go to the Writer’s Room, staff are helping them get what they need.

“I prefer the stairs anyways, but some days I am exhausted and want to take an easy ride. I would say since last Thursday, I have not tried [the elevator] because they were both down that day. There were leaks. It was shaking, and I did not want to risk getting stuck in the elevator,” Kristy Patterson, Tutorial Services administrator, said.

Without elevators, staff members are having a hard time putting a large amount of books away at one time. The efficiency of their work has been impacted heavily.

“It makes it so we can’t do our shelving. We can’t put all of the books for each level on a cart, and without the elevator we can’t take carts upstairs, so it makes it really hard for the books you turn in to put them away without taking them by hand upstairs,” Destanie Barnes, student library assistant, said.

The janitorial staff on campus cannot make full rounds to the library since they cannot bring carts of supplies up the stairs. Instead, the team is only carrying what they need for each floor and are starting a few hours later than normal.

As for library services, not much is affected. The Writer’s Room still is open and serving students, and they are willing to come to students who are unable to come up or down the stairs.

The library is also purchasing an evacuation wheelchair, so if this problem happens again, a wheelchair bound student will be able to safely exit the building.

As of now, the parts for the elevator have been ordered and should be coming in soon. The actual day of when this problem will be solved has not been set in stone, but everyone who is working in the library are hoping it will be over very soon.

“We want the library to be a welcoming place for students. We want to make sure we are doing what we can to make that happen,” Vicki Bloom, dean of Library Services, said.

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