School Elevator Breaks Down for the Second Time This Year
By Amelia Rogers-Neubarth
The 2023-2024 school year has just reached the second quarter at Ponte Vedra High School. During the first quarter alone the school elevator has already broken twice. This causes issues for a number of students trying to get around the school daily. Junior, Riley Gailfoil at Ponte Vedra High School says, “It’s been really inconvenient the two times the elevator has broken because it puts a lot of strain on my bad leg and causes worse pain throughout the day making it hard to get through it.” The school only having one elevator makes things impractical for many when it is unable to be used.
“The elevator breaks due to how much it rains. The water gets into the buttons causing them to be dysfunctional. When this occurs, it usually starts on the second floor, and the elevator goes up but does not go down due to the buttons on the second floor breaking. This has been the reason it has broken both times this school year so far.” said our Maintenance Coordinator, Rob Garcia.
When the elevator breaks those that need it have to figure out the best way to approach this obstacle in whatever condition they are in. Some have to go to the nearest teacher and try to ask for some assistance from the nurse or possibly contact a friend. Getting down the stairs in this situation is certainly not a huge issue for students in boots or a brace but for others with wheelchairs it becomes more difficult. The only efficient way to get a wheelchair down would be to carry it and the student would either require help walking or need to be carried down.
Both times when it has broken it has not been fixed before the end of the day. This requires students who cannot get to upstairs classes without the elevator to talk to administrators and usually stay in the library during all upstairs classes. They can then contact teachers and collect any work needed for any classes. Another student this impacts is Karissa Nieves. She explained, “Whenever the elevator is out of order, I am forced to use the stairs so that I am not late to my next class, but with my condition it causes me pain to walk up and down the stairs. Usually, the pain will last all day and even the following day. The elevator not working intensifies this ongoing pain even further.” This becomes a very hurtful situation for some students.
As soon as the elevator breaks down the nurse and maintenance staff are supposed to be notified. They are supposed to communicate the breakdown to the students that rely on it. This helps them talk to administrators to coordinate a plan as efficiently as possible.
While understanding that machinery will always need maintenance and has the possibility of breakdowns, being without the elevator for an entire day is not only inconvenient but academically detrimental to the number of students who rely on it multiple times a day. Rob Garcia said, “The problem is resolved now, and I hate that student’s days get interrupted with this inconvenience.”