For many, the thought of being stuck on an elevator is a nightmare, or at least would be an inconvenience. For residents of Hart Residential College, though, malfunctioning elevators have almost become routine.
In the month of September, starting the 7th, Hart residents have reported an elevator breaking down 12 times, nine of these times resulting in at least one person being trapped on the elevator temporarily. The latest of these malfunctions occurred Monday.
Aimee Habimana, a senior from Louisville, Ky., and a residential adviser in Hart, said she has noticed in the past two weeks that the elevators in Hart have been breaking down more frequently. She said almost every time she works the desk somebody gets stuck on an elevator or something isn’t working right with them.
Habimana was one of four girls who became stuck on an elevator in Hart on the Sep. 20.
She said her and the other four girls were traveling to the 6th floor when, around the 4th floor, she said they heard a loud noise followed by the sensation of being dropped. When the doors to the elevator opened she said they were back on the first floor.
That same day, approximately nine hours after the initial malfunction and after the case was referred to Facilities Management and Central Plant, the same elevator broke down again trapping another student. Facilities Management was called back again and were called two more subsequent times after that with reports of the elevator still not working properly.
Habimana said she has lived in Hart for three years and the elevators have never been as bad as this semester. She said three to four times a week people are getting stuck in elevators or Facilities Management is coming in to fix them.
“We pay way too much to have to deal with elevators not working,” Habimana said. “I don’t know if we need to replace the elevators or what, but something needs to be done.”
Molly Sohl, senior from Louisville, Ky. and a desk worker at Hart, said the elevators break for various reasons, and not just for one continuing problem. She said she’s observed Facility Management perform more intricate repairs such as fixing the elevators cables, to simpler solutions like removing a stuck object from the elevator door’s tread.
Sohl said Facilities Management is usually pretty good about fixing the elevators as soon as they break down, but sometimes the repairs require the elevator in question to be closed for a day or so, which she said is inconvenient for students.
The maintenance and up keep of Murray State’s more than 50 elevators has been in the hands of Facilities Managements since 1994.
But while according to Murray State’s website “required periodic tests and inspections of elevators, fire protection systems, and boilers are performed under contract in accordance with applicable codes and regulations”, the displayed certificates of operation for the elevators in White, Regents, Hart, New Richmond and Elizabeth colleges have all expired. Each of these elevator’s certificates say they have been expired since August of 2013.
Story by Ben Manhanke, Assistant News Editor