Central Michigan University spends more than $300,000 per year for maintenance and upgrades on its 85 elevators.
The most frequently trafficked elevators are in the in the residence halls, especially the Towers. According to Vice President for Facilities Management Steve Lawrence, elevator cars in the Towers have been trafficked as many as 40,000 times in one month.
The academic buildings containing the most frequently trafficked elevators are in Pearce, Anspach and Moore halls and Charles V. Park Library.
With such a high level of traffic, the elevators must undergo safety inspections, load testing and maintenance on a regular basis. Every freight and passenger elevator is also inspected annually by the state of Michigan.
“Maintenance inspections are scheduled according to elevator use,” Lawrence said. “The heavy-use elevators require seven times more maintenance than regular-use elevators.”
Heavy-use elevators require an average of about 69 hours of planned maintenance per year.
According to Lawrence, there is also on-call service 24 hours per day and a minimum response time of one hour for entrapment.
Otis Elevator, the elevator contractor for CMU, also has an on-site maintenance engineer performing maintenance for a minimum of 32 hours per week.
“Elevators at Kelly/Shorts Stadium are inspected before every game,” Lawrence said.
Athletics events, graduation and move-in require additional elevator inspections.
CMU spends, on average, more than $220,000 a year on maintenance and more than $100,000 a year on upgrades. The most recent elevator upgrades were in Anspach, Merrill, Sweeney and Brooks halls over the summer, totaling more than $185,000.
“Elevators can break down for several reasons,” Lawrence said. “Some of the most common causes are passenger related: physical damage, vandalism, like elevator jumping and the doors being bumped off track.”
Johnson also said that cameras have been installed inside elevators and damage can be billed back those who vandalize.
Lawrence cited heavy-use and high temperatures as another cause for repairs. For example, the Moore Hall elevator broke down about a month ago due to summer heat. Exhaust fans were installed in the outside machine room with additional electronic cabinet air conditioning to reduce temperatures.
Due to these elevators’ highly unpredictable nature, Lawrence said repairs like these and continual inspections are important to maintaining functionality and safety.