Delayed elevator repair in new building presents obstacle for students and staff


Mira Kaiser

As the brand new 700-800 wing two-story buildings opened with the 2021-2022 school year, obstacles still stand in the way. Along with small frustrations about the new construction echoed by teachers, the matter of the out-of-order elevators continues to affect both students and teachers well into the third week of school.

According to Associate Superintendent of Business Services, Mike Mathiesen, the elevators were completed with the building but due to stringent safety measures, the additional required state inspection has not been passed for public use of the elevator. Mathiesen said that a similar hold-up was seen in Los Altos High School’s two-story building built in 2011. With only two large elevator manufacturers, elevators are notorious for being challenging in construction projects, Mathiesen said.

With this in mind, Mathiesen said the school planned ahead to accommodate students who would require an elevator to have all their classes on the first floor until the elevator is running. Teachers with students needing such accommodations have been switching classrooms during the necessary periods.

“[This] is the temporary solution we did so that the students could access their curriculum and classes and weren’t singled out until we get the elevator fixed up, granted it does mean the teachers have to move from class to class,” Mathiesen said.

History teacher Danie Robledo is among the teachers who have moved classrooms. 

“Changing classrooms especially when you use a lot of stuff is really hard,” Robledo said, “I have to count out post-it notes to make sure I take the right number or bring up my colored pencils, things that don’t seem like a big deal can make it challenging.”

The move has been an adjustment for both teachers and students but should be resolved soon.

“[My students] were very confused on the first day, I put up signs but a lot of students were late and confused,” Robledo said. “I oftentimes find myself with my second period referring to something like ‘oh take a look at the wall’ and then there’s nothing on the wall because it’s not my classroom so I have to back up my thoughts,” Robledo said. 

According to Mathiesen, the new inspection took place Friday, Sep. 3, and safety protocols were all passed, after the hurdle, the elevators should be back.