“Fix the damn elevator” is written in black bold permanent marker across the West Ramp Parking Garage elevator door.
The elevator in the structure, located near Honors Academic Village, stopped operating Monday, Sept. 3, 2018 according to the Director of Facilities Operations, James H. Graff.
The elevator control room below the parking garage flooded with three feet of rain. The control room flooded at a rate of two and a half inches per hour.
“Too much rain in a short period of time,” Graff said.
Second-year Jacob Greenwood said he’s given up hope on the elevator and doesn’t expect it to get fixed.
“I’ve literally never seen anyone get in or out of it and I’ve never seen it function,” Greenwood said. “Please for the love of God, just fix the elevator.”
Electrical Maintenance Manager Daniel Perry said there have been issues with every elevator on campus. “In this case, rain flooding electricity units is what caused the problem,” Perry said. “And when elevators go down, we get them fixed.”
But for six months, since the elevator stopped working, third-year Quincy Pratt has been taking the stairs.
“Somedays I just don’t feel like walking up the stairs, especially if I [have] to park on the third floor,” Pratt said.
Sherri Kaspar, the director of Parking and Transportation, said she just learned about the broken elevator at a Student Government forum in late February when a disabled student complained she couldn’t find parking on the first floor of the garage.
But third-year Abigial Tomalewski said the elevator hasn’t been working since her sophomore year.
“I always try to park on the first floor, so I don’t have to deal with the stairs,” said Tomalewski. “Although there are times when I have to park on the third floor, and I can’t use the elevator, so I have to go up three flights of stairs with a heavy backpack just to get to my car.”
The State of Ohio Elevator Inspector, Doug Schlipf, said twice a year elevator inspectors are on campus. Schlipf pressed the elevator button, paused and then pressed it again.
“I can’t inspect the elevator if it’s not operating, and why it’s not operating, I don’t know.”
“You see the lights are not on, nothing is lit up in there,” Schlipf said. “How fast the elevator is fixed is predicated upon the university’s effort to fix it.”
Graff, said there are about 140 elevators on campus. “It takes 20 weeks to get an elevator.” He said there aren’t any preventative procedures in place to prevent the flooding from happening again. “The elevator has arrived, it’s expected to be installed this week, and it’s a four week install.”