Elevator malfunctions happening in newly opened residential hall complex

Following the opening of the new Sicomora (Building 73) and Secoya (Building 74) residential halls, many issues were recently reported concerning the elevators inside the buildings. In the past week, the elevators were out of service for just around a week in Secoya. This left many students with only the option of using stairs in the 8-story building. 

As of Feb. 12, the manager of Building and Mechanical Services for Cal Poly Pomona’s facilities management, Jesse Ochoa, confirmed all four elevators are now back in service for residents to use freely. 

First-year business student Arianie Sanchez explained the impact the out-of-use elevators had for five days as a resident of the fourth floor of Secoya. 

“When the elevators were broken down, it was very inconvenient for me,” Sanchez said. “There were many times that I had to take a detour around the building to get to the stairs when I was heading to class.”

After a few complications and service checks, the elevators in both Sicomora and Secoya are now back in service for students. (Jizelle Saucedo | The Poly Post)

According to Sanchez, the elevators are relatively closer to the center of the building and her room. However, the location of the stairs posed a problem for her when she left her room, especially in a rush to make it to class on time.  

Students also recently reported incidents where they experienced getting stuck in the residential hall elevators at the start of this semester. 

First-year political science student Litzy Guzman described how the elevator in Sicomora “(started) to glitch and move bumpy before stopping between the fourth and fifth floor” on the first day of spring semester classes on Jan 21.  

“I was on my way back to my room on the fourth floor and the elevator ride was going smoothly until it stopped. With my fear of elevators (breaking down), I was internally panicking when everyone else seemed to be calm,” Guzman said.

Guzman said five students were in the elevator with her and they received support when pressing the “help” button in the elevator. After five minutes, facilities staff resolved the elevator’s malfunction and the students exited the elevator safely.

To keep an update on all the elevators on campus, Ochoa said the elevator company’s regional adjustor visited campus to conduct a “root cause analysis” to resolve any ongoing problems with the elevators not working properly in the building. Depending on the issue reported by students, the company arrives to check the elevator systems for any errors and works accordingly to make repairs on the affected elevator. Since each issue poses different courses of action, Ochoa said the cost of repairs relies on the maintenance needed for the repairs.

In the event of both elevators being out of service during an emergency evacuation, students with physical disabilities that prevent them from using the stairs are provided with the accommodation of evacuation chairs in each tower of the residential halls, according to Ochoa. Provided by the office of emergency management, evacuation chairs ensure students get down flights of stairs safely with the assistance of another individual.

“Facilities, Planning and Management will continue to provide the best service available …. We ask our campus residents to be patient as we work to make CPP a beautiful, safe and comfortable campus,” Ochoa said.

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