Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Elevator Shutdown and Replacement

Work has begun to replace the building’s elevators and extend them to cover floors 1-6, which will include the two additional floors under construction on top of the present library building.

Tuesday morning an electrical subcontractor switched over power to a new power panel for the single elevator that will remain operational for up to 18 weeks afterward, while elevators #2 and #3 have their cables and controls replaced and are extended reach the new 5th and 6th floors. All mechanical parts from the old dismantled #2 and #3 units will be kept on site to speed repairs on elevator #1 if needed.

The power switchover and shutdown of elevators #2 and #3 did not go smoothly and the building was without any elevator service for two days, rather than for only a couple of hours before the building opened as had been planned. The advanced, 45-year old age of the elevator controls and mechanical systems set to be replaced are said to have contributed to the extra time needed for the work. In the end, to get elevator #1 to run after separating its controls from the other two, technicians needed to rebuild and rewire its controls largely from scratch and using salvaged parts.

Once the new elevators #2 and #3 are brought online in the spring, elevator #1 will be shut down and replaced.  Meanwhile, all stairwells in the building will remain open for use.  These include the central stairwell but also the two smaller stairwells at either end of the building that before the construction project were designated for emergency use only.

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