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Maintenance for campus elevators 'above average'

Central Michigan University chose an elevator contractor, Otis, with the quickest response time available to service its 80 elevators on campus.

In all residence halls, elevators are available for use by students with mobility problems. Elevators go through regular maintenance, are fixed as needed, serviced in cases of an emergency. Entrapment is a rare occurrence, but happens from time to time, said Director of Facilities Operations Jay Kahn.

According to the Facilities Management duty log, the Otis service log and a mechanic’s notes, there were 251 repair service calls placed in the last 12 months. Of those, 16 were emergencies where someone reported to be stuck in an elevator. Of the 16, there were five incidents where the person was not in the elevator when the mechanic arrived.

Saginaw freshman Cheriah Slaughter said she has been stuck briefly in the elevator in Wheeler Hall.

In the last 12 months $627,480 was spent on elevator maintenance and upgrades which included:

o $197,280 general maintenance

o $35,500 Foust cylinder replacement

o $34,500 University Center cylinder replacement

o $135,430 Moore Hall cylinder replacement and control panels

o $182,770 Pearce Hall cylinder replacement and control panels

o $43,000 Larzelere Hall cylinder replacement

source: Facilities Management

“I got stuck for like two minutes — it just stopped in between floors," she said. "Since I’ve been here, the elevators have only been broken once."

Out of all the elevators on campus, the ones that get the most use are in the Towers residence halls.

In residence halls, elevator keys can be obtained from the residence hall director. In the Towers residence halls — Carey, Cobb, Troutman and Wheeler — which are eight floors high, and Campbell, Celani, Fabiano, Kesseler and Kulhavi halls, which are five floors high, elevators are in constant use and available at all times. 

According to CMU's website, in the event that a student is seen tampering with or vandalizing the elevator in any way, including jumping, disciplinary action will be taken and damage charges will be assessed.

For Warren freshman Dajone Ross, who lives on the seventh floor of Troutman, using the elevators is part of her daily routine.

"The elevator hasn’t been (broken) that often, but it just seems like it because I just stay (in my room) on the seventh floor if I can’t take the elevator," Kahn said.

When people jump in the elevator, it can cause it to shut down.

“Sometimes that causes entrapment, the governor (malfunctions) on the elevator,” Kahn said.

Each elevator in the Towers is used more than 400,000 times per year.

“If there is an entrapment, the response time is less than an hour between the time the call is placed and when someone gets there (to fix the problem),” Kahn said.

There are 32 hours a week of on-site elevator maintenance performed on CMU’s elevators, but in the case of an emergency, they should use the elevator phone, Kahn said.

If there is an emergency outside of when the elevator mechanic is on campus, the call from the elevator goes directly to CMU police. Police call the Facilities service center either on campus or in Remus (after hours). The service center calls Otis, which dispatches the mechanic. Once the person calls from the elevator, the whole process to dispatch the mechanic takes less than 5 minutes.

CMU goes above the requirements when it comes to elevator maintenance, Kahn said.

“Generally speaking, you have one route mechanic per 100 elevators,” he said. “We have one for about 80 (elevators).”

The elevator mechanic is on standby for all graduations and goes over the Kelly Shorts stadium elevator before every football game.

In the last 12 months $627,480 was spent on elevator maintenance and upgrades.


About Kate Carlson

Editor-in-Chief Kate Carlson is a senior from Lapeer who is majoring in journalism with a minor in ...

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