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The Ups and Downs of COS Elevators of the Campus

Steven Nunez

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If you are ever in a hurry to get anywhere, you may need to take the fastest route possible: an elevator.

Here at the college it may mean taking an elevator, but is it the fastest? Some people on campus say they are “OK” with it, but others will tell you they could use a lot of improvement. On the other hand, some students never bother with the ups and downs of the campus, and take the stairs.

College of the Sequoias is a school with few elevators, but some may not always work. Many of the elevators are a reasonable size, and made for students with backpacks or even a handful of art projects.

There are eight elevators on campus each one has posted inside, a State of California inspection certificate from the Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health. These certificates will tell you the Inspection No.: a unit number of the machine, date of inspection, and when the permit expires. Location is also listed but not in fine detail.

COS is omitted from this section, but the building is noted. Load Permissible notes how much weight and the number of people allowed in the unit. This area also provides the inspector ID number, as in who did the inspection. The last line of the certificate is the Description, which informs you what type of elevator it is (passenger or freight), owner (no name but code of location), and the type of power used by the motor. Every elevator must have this certificate posted.

There are eight elevators on the campus, but only seven seem to be working. The Lodgepole building, or the campus library, has two elevators, but only one can be used by the students. The other one appears not to be working. The interior of the working elevator is large and roomy, but a slight bang can be heard when the elevator begins the ascent upward. However, downward is a smooth ride. Unfortunately the inspection certificate is not in the right place, as it is loosely taped to the elevator wall hanging upside down. This is not a big problem and can be fixed with ease.

There is one problem that seems to be on all, but one elevator: the State Certification date of expiration.

Certificates have expired on July 17th, 2017. Kenny Lamb, Manager of Maintenance and Operations, knows about the posted old certificates. He can present the current State Certificates in his office. He oversees that copies of the new ones are put up, if the old ones are missing or excessively damaged.

The actual maintenance for the mechanical parts of the elevators are contracted out to Schindler Elevator Corp., a worldwide high profile company out of Switzerland. Schindler has many branch of offices here in the United States. The cost of maintenance is not cheap, and it can cost roughly about thirty to fifty thousand dollars a year for service.

There are other elevators on campus. The John Muir building elevator is the best ride. It has a wide door, big floor space, and is a smooth ride both up and down. No other noises are detected.

The Sequoia building has a unique set up. The first floor is the outdoors. When arriving on the second floor a small hall leads into the building. The ride is nice, and a buzzer will sound when arriving at the destination.

Located on the north end of the Tule building is its elevator, and opens to an outside hallway. The ride down is smooth, as was the stop at end. The ride up is a bit noisy and has a sudden stop when completed.

The Giant Forrest elevator located near the Bookstore is similar to that of the Tule ride. Amanda Alcantar of the Transfer Center, and her coworker Melania Hernandez, gave their opinion toward rifing the elevator.

“It’s good, beats walking,” Alcantar said.

“They are slow, but they get you there,” Hernandez said.

The smallest elevator on campus is located in the Kern building. It can carry only two people with comfort. This unit has instructions posted inside and is detailed as to what to do if an emergency should occur. Upgraded in 2008, this elevator still has slow response time, is jumpy, and makes a sudden stop when going up.

Pedro Acosta, a COS student also gave his opinion towards using this elevator.

“It is an OK ride,” Acosta said.

One noisy elevator in terms of mechanical noises is at the Kaweah building. The door is very slow when opening or closing. The floors and buttons appear dirty from use. When in operation going up a squeaky cable can be heard. Going down is a little less noisy. This elevator has the distinction of having the only State expiration date of 2018, until July of course. This probably means the old certificate was missing, and the new one was put in place by maintenance.

The elevators of COS may be noisy, and some may be small, but they all seem to work (except one in the library). Like most college campuses they are well used, inspected yearly, and get people to the places they want to go – despite the moaning and groaning, of these transportation units. Elevators during the cold and flu season can present an opportunity to spread disease or illness. Make sure to use a hand sanitizer after pushing the buttons.

To be safe you can be like another student Hector Sanchez, who does not ride the elevators.

“I take the stairs, I want the exercise,” Sanchez said.

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The Ups and Downs of COS Elevators of the Campus