Easy fix exists for issues with broken elevators


Photo by Robert Berger

A line of students wait for an elevator in the West Penn Building before classes Dec. 5.

Written By Hannah Walden

Despite frequent malfunctions, Point Park’s elevators – whether they are in Lawrence Hall, Conestoga Hall or West Penn – usually require quick fixes and maintenance repairs, according to the university.

Most of the time the elevators require low-level maintenance, and depending on how fast a Point Park University engineer gets to it, it can be reset and ready to go in a matter of minutes. Something such as the elevator doors staying stuck open, the elevator getting stuck between floors or just being overcrowded with people only requires a fast restart by any of the operating engineers on campus.

The most noticeable and problematic elevator has proven to be the second elevator in Lawrence Hall, the car closest to the stairs on the first floor, which has been out of service for the majority of the semester.

Problems with the second elevator have persisted throughout a large portion of the semester, though it is now operating normally, according to the university. The maintenance required to fix this elevator could not be done by an operating engineer and Industrial/Commercial Elevator company (ICE) was called in to fix the elevator. One of the elevator’s vital parts was broken and needed to be replaced.

Shortly thereafter, a different mechanism on the same elevator broke, causing the company to return, requiring further maintenance.

On Nov. 2, Dean of Students Keith Paylo emailed students thanking them for their patience and cooperation as the work on the elevator was taking longer than expected.

“While we understand that having one of these elevators out of service is inconvenient, please know that we are working hard to rectify this situation,” Paylo wrote in the email to students.

Paylo also reassured students in the same email that he was open for any questions students have and that hard work was being done to fix the elevator.

According to Christopher Hill, vice president of operations at Physical Plant, things like overcrowding, holding the door open too long and even jumping in the elevator will cause it to malfunction and require a restart.

In Lawrence Hall from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, the “up” button was pushed a total of 3,173 times and the “down” button was pushed a total of 3,925 times, according to Hill. A time chart of Lawrence Hall’s elevator usage shows that the “up” elevators are the most busy between 10 a.m. and and 5 p.m., and the “down” elevators are most busy between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

During that time, the “up” button was pushed on the first floor elevators in Lawrence Hall 1,082 times.

Now that the second elevator at Lawrence Hall is operational, Hill says there has been a better response from students.

However, some students, like freshman theater arts major Emma Cumberledge, have had to adapt to the inconveniences that nonoperative elevators have presented.

“I have been late to class and missed the bus, all due to having to wait 10 minutes for an elevator,” Cumberledge said.

“When only two or, if we’re lucky, three of the four elevators in Lawrence Hall [were working], it gave me a little bit of a set back, especially when I live on the 20th floor,” Cumberledge said.

Criminal justice major Lindazah Jones-Jordan also expressed her disappointment in the operational tendencies of the university’s elevator systems.

“The elevators have their days when they work perfectly and others were I am waiting for an elevator, until I have to run down the stairs to make it to my class,” Jones-Jordan said.