The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Science Center elevator closed for repairs


Maintenance repairs to the Science Center elevator, set to begin at the end of the spring semester, are currently on hold because of work restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Construction projects have been interrupted under the governor’s orders,” said Timothy McGuriman, associate vice president for Administrative Services. “It is difficult to predict how projects might be affected, and we expect to learn more in the coming weeks.”

On March 16, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf directed non-essential businesses to cease operations for at least 14 days to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Kevin Kane, assistant vice president of Facilities, wrote in an email to The Hawk earlier this month that the elevator in the Science Center is scheduled to have its original equipment upgraded. Kane said this is the first repair being made to the elevator since October 2019, when there was maintenance to the door controller. 

“The Science Center elevator has experienced occasional outages,” Kane wrote at the time. “We anticipate the elevator being out of use for the duration of the summer.”

While repairs are underway, those in the building will be limited to only the stairs for access to upper floors during the time of maintenance. An alternative solution will be put in place to ensure the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are met and any with physical disabilities can navigate the building, according to Christine Mecke, Ed.D, director of Student Disability Services. 

“If the building requires repairs, then ADA would require that alternative measures are put in place to enable persons with disabilities to access any program or service in that building,” said Mecke.

Koert Wehberg, executive director Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities, said the university has to provide program access during times of maintenance and renovation. 

“If there are classrooms on the upper floors or any other activities, labs or, any other academic activities, they would have to move those to either the first floor of that building, or to another building, or offer them to people with disabilities in some way if they were not able to physically access them,” Koert said.

In addition to access for individuals, the elevator is needed to transport equipment required by research projects in the building to upper floors. 

“Not having the elevator is going to limit how we move materials that cannot be carried up and down stairs,” said Brian Forester, Ph.D., GEP science lab coordinator and chemical hygiene officer.

Kane said for the last six months logistical concerns posed by faculty have been addressed in meetings with representatives from Facilities Management. Forester said that the outcomes of these meetings will help to minimize disruptions in the building. 

“During the repair period, there will be times where the elevator will be turned on where equipment or other materials that need to be moved from one floor to another via the elevator can be done” said Forester.

Forester said this solution requires that faculty and research labs plan their experiments ahead of time so that materials can be transported as they are needed. This has currently not caused setbacks for any science research projects. 

Kane said there will be an additional elevator, from the loading dock in the parking lot to the second floor, the building will have access to. These measures are being taken to ensure that all will have proper access to the upper floors of the Science Center.

“If anyone feels that there is an unresolved matter, they are encouraged to reach out to my office,” said Kane.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *