By Alex Murphy

For The Diamondback

The University of Maryland is looking to upgrade its elevators.

Director of Residential Facilities Jon Dooley wrote in an email he’s working with other campus officials to “finalize the scope of the next renewal program.”

Though the “scope, proposed budget and schedule is still several months away from being finalized,” Dooley projected the renewal program would cost at least $3 million and would span three to five years.

He wrote he anticipates the program will focus on the elevator lift motors, the building controller system and door and safety equipment.

As of Sept. 20, Residential Facilities received 87 calls for elevator service, Dooley wrote. That’s almost four calls a day since classes started on Aug. 29.

Last year, the department received more than 500 calls throughout the year.

“If there is a comprehensive program to renew equipment, the immediate impact will be to hopefully lessen certain types of breakdowns that occur,” Dooley said.

Freshman Olivia Sharon knows what it’s like when one of the elevators on the campus breaks down. Earlier this month, she and 16 other students got stuck on their way up to the sixth floor of Denton Hall.

The group waited for about an hour before the police and fire department came to help, she said.

“We were all sweating so much,” the sociology major said.

A Facilities Management official said elevators on the campus are a “very safe mode of operation.”

“They are designed to stop when something is wrong,” said Jack Baker, Facilities Management’s operations and maintenance department director.

And in Sharon’s case, the excess of weight was the issue, Baker said.

But there are many factors that impact elevators on the campus, Dooley said.

“The age of the equipment, how the equipment is used, how it is maintained, whether for an elevator or a personal vehicle, all influences how often something breaks down,” Dooley said.

Baker said elevators are maintained regularly to ensure the safety of students.

“Each elevator is maintained monthly,” he said. “That consists of going in, checking everything, checking the phones, doing that sort of thing.”