Elevator troubles require retrofit


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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

Chico State faces a safety issue that is independent of the exuberance of college students that is often a cause for concern.

There has been about 25 separate elevator-related issues across campus this semester, which have even worried individuals without personal fears.

These occurrences vary from elevator doors getting stuck to a report of a burnt-out motor generator. This has resulted in at least one injured student and several students becoming trapped.

The cause of these malfunctions and mishaps is the fact that Chico State is an older campus and some of the university’s elevators are more than 60 years old.

This is a fact the administration is well aware of and it is outrageous that students’ safety is knowingly being put at risk.

Thankfully there are plans to modernize the worst of these elevators, located in Meriam Library, by June. But what about the other elevators located on campus?

There are some students who often choose to skip them altogether. Others do not, however, have the luxury of choosing whether they want to skip a nerve-wracking elevator ride.

It seems progress toward fixing the college’s old infrastructure is slow, but repairs are certainly needed.

Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to Chico State. Most colleges across the California State University system are in need of repair. More than 40 percent of the infrastructure in the system is more than 40 years old.

The problem is that the cost of modernizing facilities is enormously expensive. The estimated cost to fix the aging infrastructure across the system would be in the hundreds of millions.

This figure is staggering but it is important to keep in mind that this number is so high because of the repeated deferment of funds to repair this infrastructure. Chico State’s elevator issues are only a symptom of a larger problem.

When university officials choose to defer repairs they are also choosing to defer student safety.

The issue needs to be addressed and funding allocated to ensure students not only have the resources to succeed but the surrounding infrastructure to ensure they are safe.

The Orion can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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