The north elevator in the Business and Engineering Convergence Center has stalled five times since the building opened in October, trapping a total of 14 people inside. No injuries have been reported.
The most recent occurrence took place on Feb. 17 while contractors were on campus, allowing them to examine the issue.
Elevator maintenance at Bradley is handled by the contractor Kone, a company that maintains state certifications. Kone was called after all five incidents occurred.
They identified that the elevator’s rails needed more oil. The lack of oil caused the dry rails to “chatter,” creating a vibration that caused the elevator to shut down as a safety response. Kone technicians also adjusted the doors and settings of the elevator, which have now hopefully been repaired.
The procedure when an elevator traps someone on campus is simple. The person pushes a button, which calls Bradley’s Central Communications Center located in McMillan Hall. The communications center contacts campus operating engineers, the police department and the fire department, in that order, according to Jayne Dant, Bradley’s Interim General Services Supervisor.
“[The calls are] just so we have everybody on site, depending on what the level of response is going to need to be,” Dant said.
Larry Christensen, the Assistant Director of the Elevator Safety Office of the Fire Marshal, said that it is not uncommon for a newer, high-volume elevator to have problems.
Director of Facilities Larry McGuire said that though the facility is new, he doesn’t want to minimize the issue.
“It’s five times too many,” McGuire said. “But I would call it a… fine-tuning issue, because it’s a new elevator service, and we’ve got to get it right.”