Earlier this month, Cal State Fullerton began the first of several planned elevator renovations across campus by closing down one of the elevators in University Hall for repairs, and with plans to close McCarthy Hall elevators as well.
An elevator examination last year showed which elevators were in need of replacement. Plans were drawn up to replace elevators across multiple buildings during the next five to seven years, according to Sarab Singh, director of construction management.
“There’s a long term plan and it all depends on how the funding is going to be allocated to these things. We’ll keep doing the elevators after McCarthy and the next I think is the [Pollak] Library elevators,” Singh said.
The process will cost several million dollars over the next few years, with each elevator costing around $500,000, according to Singh and Tuan Nguyen, the director of physical plant. Nguyen said the renovation is justified due to the issues the elevators have regularly.
“I believe they were leaking and you can look at McCarthy Hall, I mean, they’re really outdated. Some of the cables have an issue and sometimes we have oil leaks we have to take care of. After a while it makes sense to replace it than to repair it, ” Nguyen said.
According to Singh, the primary reason most of the elevators are being replaced is because the parts have been discontinued. University Hall is first on the list because those elevators are older and frequently used by students.
“Those elevators were obsolete and the parts were hard to come by. The control system has problems and if they have problems, the repair parts would be three to five days out,” Singh said.
Construction began on University Hall’s first elevator Jan. 2 and is expected to be completed some time in March, with the next elevator completed in July.
While construction has been planned for McCarthy Hall, a lack of parts has forced the project to wait until their arrival, which is projected to be some time early-to-mid February.
“Right now, one elevator will take between three to four months, but that’s after we plan. The parts alone can take as much as 12 weeks,” Nguyen said. “We’re aiming for about four months (per elevator).”
While many of the elevators were marked as critical after the inspection, the money to replace more may not come with the next round of funding. Currently, the funds to replace the elevators in University Hall are coming from the school’s deferred maintenance budget, according to Nguyen and Singh.
“We do all our projects thinking we’re getting the funding, we have to be positive about it,” Singh said. “With the economy of the state and the new governor, it seems like we’ll have some traction but we’ll see how it goes.”