Repairs on library escalators could start over spring break

By Dan O'Shea

Repairs on escalators in Founders Memorial Library, which have been out of order since early last semester, might soon be underway.

Conrad Miller, physical plant project manager, is optimistic about repair plans for the broken escalators. “We’re hopeful that work could start on the escalators over spring break,” Miller said.

NIU has accepted a bid by Mid-American Elevator Company for the renovation and repair work, and the university is presently waiting for Mid-American to sign contracts for the project, he said.

“The whole thing hinges on how fast the contracts are signed,” said Miller. After Mid-American signs the contracts and sends them back to NIU, NIU must send them to Springfield to be signed by Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves, he said.

The bid for the entire project is $231,032. Miller said the repair project consists of three phases and funds are available for the first and second phases, but not the third. Funding for the first two-thirds of the project will come from current year general revenue operating funds. The third phase is of lesser importance than the first two, and funds for this phase will be allocated at a later date, he said.

The first and second phases are expected to cost a total of $173,274 and cover the repair of all six broken escalators in the library. The first phase involves the repair of the escalators going up from the first to the second floor, the second to the third floor, and the third to the fourth floor.

The second-phase repair work consists of the escalators going down from the second to the first floor, up from the lower level of the library to the first floor, and down from the first floor to the lower level.

The third phase of the project allows for the other two escalators in the building, one going down from the fourth to the third floor, and the other from the third to the second floor. These two escalators are currently operable, but are experiencing minor difficulties and might need future repair, Miller said.