Students Take the Stairs

Elie Georges, Staff Writer

Nine of the campus elevators were shut down by the state inspector due to compliance issues in the early morning of Sept. 15.

The compliance issue arose as a result of the college’s third-party fire life-safety company failing to submit its Elevator Recall Test report on time before the inspector’s visit. The recall test examines fire sensors that are in front of the elevators, which can detect smoke caused by fires and prevent the elevator from landing on the ground floor during an emergency.

Within 30 minutes of the shutdown, the company responded to director of facilities Nelson Oliveira’s call to fix the problem. In addition to the ERT, the 33 campus elevators go through a continuous process of annual check-ups and a five-year load testing.

“There was a disconnection between the elevator company and the fire life-safety company,” said Oliveira. “Because the life-safety company did not provide the documentation to the state, the elevator recall was not tested, and it’s a life safety test.”

Shuttle service was provided to transport students and staff members from the parking structure to the lower campus, and vice versa. Campus police contributed to attaining the shuttle service, especially with the help of department chief Gary Montecuollo.

However, some students expressed discomfort taking the shuttle because it took a long time to load passengers.

“I had foot surgery a few months ago and I was in a wheel chair. I can barely walk,” said music student Allie Baghdasarian. “I am limping and it’s hard for me to take all these stairs from the upper parking lot down to campus.”

By early Tuesday morning, five elevators were back in service and the tower elevators were restored that afternoon.

“The elevators are absolutely safe,” said Oliveira. “I think that the campus worked really well through these disastrous two days, and we acted very fast with them and the response with the companies was positive.”