Beginning Dec. 31, the elevator in Sproul Hall will be closed due to maintenance, an undertaking that will last up to three months and will particularly impact campus members with disabilities.
Sproul Hall houses the financial aid office, advising services and the admissions office, among other services. An email was sent to campus from the Division of Student Affairs Wednesday outlining the renovation of the elevator that allows many students to access these resources.
According to the email, the process of renovating the elevator will last until March 27, 2019, but updates on the completion date will be sent out as time progresses. UC Berkeley Capital Strategies spokesperson Kyle Gibson said that the elevator’s motor will be replaced and work on the inside of the elevator will also be performed.
“As part of this project, the Sproul Hall elevator control buttons will be modernized. This includes correcting the button panel’s height for ADA compliance,” Gibson said in an email.
In addition to maintenance on the elevator, new fire doors will be built on the basement and second floor of Sproul Hall, according to Gibson. These repairs, according to the email, will bring “essential” improvements to the accessibility and safety of the elevator.
As the expected outage of the elevator may be up to three months—which may significantly impact students with disabilities—UC Berkeley has notified students of alternative ways to enter the building and how to receive help.
According to the email, those who are in need of a wheelchair-accessible entrance may enter the building through the south-side entrance that faces Bancroft Way during standard business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. A ramp and automatic doors are available at this entrance. The email said that staff members are able to meet students on this accessible level as well.
The three-month time frame planned for the repairs includes both the time it will take to renovate the elevator and additional time for safety and accessibility inspections of the elevator and its new fire doors, Gibson said.
The campus encourages those who wish to speak with Sproul Hall officials to make accessibility arrangements by contacting services such as the Center for Support and Intervention and Student Affairs Business Operations, among others.
“In addition, we will have a phone directory for other offices and our staff members will be happy to meet any student who needs an accessible meeting space,” the email said.