Stairing down the problem

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By Glenn Klauth

Ryerson will not add new elevators in the Library Building to make up for the loss of the escalators, says the head of campus planning and facilities.

When classes started last week, some students were concerned that replacing escalators with stairs would lead to overcrowding in the nearby elevators. The main worry being it would create long waits for students with disabilities.

“Our approach is going to require people ot be considerate of students with disabilities,” said Ian Hamilton, Ryerson’s director of campus planning and facilities. “If they can use the stairs, they should leave the elevators for the students who can’t.”

the construction to replace the escalators started in December and will finish by early spring. Until the new stairs are finished, students are asked to use the existing stairway just north of the main entrance to the building.

Hamilton said the university decided to remove the escalators because they demanded too much repair.

“It’s a part of the Ryerson culture that those escalators are down,” he said.

“The problem is that, due to their location near the main entrance, water and salt gets into the machinery and break it down. If we had put in hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace the escalators, we’d still be in the same situation with constant break downs.”

Hamilton estimated the new project will cost roughly $300,000. He said the university consulted the Access Centre and students and faculty with disabilities before the project began.

However, their main contribution with the project was to help with the wording of a sign placed by the elevators which will ask students to use the stairs nearby.

Hamilton said the university has no plans to install new elevators because so far there have been few complaints about them.

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