Out of Service
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“Tower of Terror” is what some City College students are calling the elevators in the MS building on their campus.

Since early morning on Sept. 19, three of the five elevators in the MS building were shut down. The five-story building is located on the Broadway and C street blocks — between 15th and 16th St.

The MS building

“The elevator door never closes, it takes maybe four times to finally close,” Itzel Vega said, “and there’s nobody even there [that is triggering the sensors or buttons to reopen the doors].”

Vega, 21, an administrational justice major, works on the fourth floor at the Price Scholarship office. On Sept. 23, she confirmed that the “Tower of Terror” name is still being used to refer to the two elevators that bring the students to and from their classes.“I was by myself and it felt like the elevator was going to fall, so I held on grabbing the walls. Once the doors opened on the first floor, I ran outside,” Vega said. “Then later that day there was an out of service sign on the elevator.

The "Tower of Terror"

There are two elevators located on the north side by the mathematics and social science classes and offices, two more in the parking structure on the southeast side, and a service elevator by the center which was temporarily being used by the students, even though “they are not supposed to.”

On Sept. 22, one of the elevators in the parking side and the left side elevator by the classes were under repair.

“The loud thunder shaking the building was the cause of the elevator not working early this week,” said Derrall Chandler of the San Diego Community College District. Chandler said that the “earthquake sensor was triggered” on one of the elevators during the thunderstorm early Monday morning; he did not specify which one.

Some students said they waited for “up to ten minutes” for the one operational elevator to stop on their floor, then when the sliding doors opened, the elevator was “always packed like a can of sardines.”

On Sept. 23, Beck Jolly, 36, a behavioral science major, disregarded the yellow barricade on the fifth floor. He said he pushed it to the side and entered the blocked-off elevator. Upon entering, he said he was immediately scolded by a man inside who said: “What are you doing, bro, there’s a barricade right there.”

“That fired me up. I cannot cuss on this [interview], right?” Beck said, “I was pissed off and the only reason I don’t want to use the stairs is because I don’t want to be all sweaty before I go to class.”

Kone to the rescue

During the interview, Aatzin, the man fixing the elevator, came out to continue talking with Beck. Aatzin said that he was an employee of Kone Elevators and Escalators of San Diego and was servicing and testing the elevator when Beck interrupted him.

“The kids jumping up and down in the unit,” Aatzin said, is more likely the cause of setting off the earthquake sensor over the thunderstorm reasoning.

One student who wanted to remain anonymous said that “jumping up prior to the elevator going up or down creates a sense of floating.”

Students aren’t the only ones having problems with the elevators.

At 2:20 p.m. on March 12, 2015, Professor Jessica White-Magellan, a sociology instructor, was quoted by City Times (City College’s school newspaper): “The doors closed and the elevator started to go up, like normal. I wasn’t really paying attention to be honest, and all of a sudden it stopped going up and it felt like the elevator dropped from underneath me.”

Chandler said that the custodians in the building have told him that they witnessed students jumping in the elevators, but he also blames the issues on “things not being made like they use to and that the [elevator] replacement parts now are coming from all over the world.”

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Bob_Hudson Sept. 24, 2016 @ 3:27 p.m.

I always fear elevators in government buildings, knowing they were built by the lowest bidder.


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