Three elevators have undergone renovations in the University of Maryland’s Elkton Hall this year — with some expected to continue through the summer — drawing frustration from residents.
Renovations on the first of three elevators to be worked on — Car #3 — were completed on Feb. 14, according to an email from Residential Facilities. Those renovations began during the fall semester and were expected to take only three months, according to an email sent to residents on September 10.
Construction on the second elevator, Car #2, is expected to continue through the spring semester. The third elevator should be complete by the end of the summer, the email said.
Residential Facilities declined to comment on the renovation process.
Freshman criminology and criminal justice major Sam Whiteman lives on the second floor of the building and did not expect the renovations to the first elevator to take as long as they did. She said that “it’s really annoying” that renovations will continue through the end of the semester.
While it’s “not that inconvenient,” Whiteman said, to get to her room, she added that she opts to take the stairs whenever she goes to see friends on other floors, “because it takes forever to wait for an elevator.”
The new car features a new elevator cab and interior, a higher ceiling, LED lighting, a new motor and elevator controls, as well as other infrastructure improvements to the building’s elevator system, the email said. A new card reader was also installed next to the elevator on the ground and first floors.
Some residents, such as Madeleine Alford, said the new elevator car is nice, but said she would expect it in somewhere like the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center or somewhere in Washington, D.C., because it’s so nice.
“It looks like it doesn’t belong in a dorm building — or at least it doesn’t belong in Elkton, just because Elkton is kind of old,” said Alford, a freshman psychology major.
Alford noticed that the elevator renovation took longer than the three months Residential Facilities had originally stated. Although it was inconvenient at times, she said she expected it to take longer than was anticipated.
“For the most part, you don’t really notice it, but then when another one shuts down for a little while, you can tell,” Alford said. “It becomes an inconvenience when there’s only one working, or when there was no working elevator at all- that was super annoying.”
While freshman marketing major Kate Maescher said that the new elevator was nice, she said that the continued renovations are inconvenient. Because the two side elevators don’t communicate with each other, residents have to press both buttons on either side to call each elevator.
“I was happy [to see the new elevator] but I didn’t know that it had to have the consequence of us having to press both elevators, and us waiting consistently,” she said.
This leads to elevator delays for other residents because when residents call two elevators but then get on one, the other elevators still open to floors where the person is no longer waiting, Maescher said.
Maescher also said that in light of the mold found in Elkton Hall earlier last semester, she thinks Residential Facilities should prioritize checking the walls and building thoroughly for asbestos before undertaking other projects, especially if there wasn’t an obvious problem with the elevators before.
She also added that continued problems with mold could influence prospective students’ decisions to live in Elkton.
“I remember when I got into Elkton at the beginning of the semester I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve heard this is the best dorm on North Campus’” Maescher said. “And then we have mold covering everything, and I had mold on my clothes, and it’s just gross.”