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Ohio State to spend $4.8M to renovate as many as 17 elevator systems on campus

Students use elevators inside Thompson Library on Feb. 11.  Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

Students use elevators inside Thompson Library on Feb. 11. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

Some campus elevators are set to be fixed up in the coming year.

Elevators in several academic and research buildings will be upgraded next year after a $4.8 million project was approved by the Board of Trustees on Jan. 30.

The money will affect as many as 17 elevator systems in 11 academic buildings, chosen based on condition, according to trustees meeting minutes. The elevators will be upgraded, modified or replaced entirely based on need.

The funding will be provided by state appropriations.

“The work will be based on recommendations by professional industry consultants taking condition, usage and estimated costs into consideration,” Dan Hedman, spokesman for Administration and Planning, said in an email.

Improvements are set to begin June 16 and run until Jan. 17, 2016, Hedman said. About $4 million will go toward the construction itself, including contingencies in case things don’t go as planned, while $800,000 will cover service fees.

Elevator work on campus is contracted out to the Schindler Elevator Corp., the American branch of the Schindler Group, an international manufacturer of escalators and elevators based in Switzerland.

Every day, an average of eight full-time Schindler technicians work at Ohio State, inspecting and maintaining elevators for safety and occasionally handling service calls when they come up, said Schindler spokeswoman Kathy Rucki.

OSU currently spends $1.6 million every year to maintain the 546 elevators on the campus, Hedman said, and in the past 10 years, the school invested an estimated $25.5 million in elevator infrastructure and new equipment.

Schindler also conducts annual safety tests on OSU elevators while Ohio’s Department of Commerce conducts its own independent safety tests annually, Rucki said.

These tests determine if elevators comply with the standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Schindler has worked on OSU elevators since November 2012, Rucki said.

The OSU project will only affect academic and research buildings because the money will come from state funds, so it won’t affect elevators in residence halls or medical buildings, Hedman said. Money for services in residence halls and medical buildings comes from a different source, he added.

Some students, such as Alex Rand, a resident of Baker Hall East, said he sees the need for improvement in some buildings around campus, but would also like to see such changes in residence halls.

“Certain buildings need a retrofit for their elevators, Baker East being one of them,” said Rand, a first-year in Arabic and international studies. “The elevator feels a little rickety sometimes.”


  1. Wow…someone has died in an elevator here…

    the bradley hall elevator is a death waiting to happen…

  2. Anon, the kid tried to get out of the elevator. While the doors shouldn’t have stayed open you shouldn’t try to get out of a moving elevator. It’s not like the elevator fell and it killed him

  3. The news reports at the time said the elevator had started moving downward with the doors open, evidently slipping through the brake as more passengers attempted to board. The student who died tripped and fell across the threshold as the elevator slipped downward, which is what could easily happen to anyone in that situation. The elevator was descending when it should not have.

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