Administration Building renovation includes new elevator

Getting enough exercise will be easy for employees on the upper floors of the Administration Building this spring.

As part of an ongoing renovation project, the building's elevator is scheduled to be replaced with a larger, new version. The process of removing the current elevator and installing the new one is expected to begin May 15 and last until the end of June. How will staff and visitors get to the upper floors during that period? The old-fashioned way, of course: the stairs.

Earl Whittington, project manager for the renovation, said he planned to send a memo this week to all occupants of the Administration Building advising them that the elevator will be out of commission for about six weeks and they will be required to use the stairs. (The main stairwell is located near the northern entrance to the first floor.) Whittington said the project includes "ripping out the old elevator, drilling holes for the shaft, and installing a new hydraulic elevator." He said the new unit will be slightly larger than the existing elevator and operate much faster and more smoothly.

Work on the new elevator, Whittington said, will be done during nights and weekends to avoid disruption of office activities.

The existing elevator remains in use while Genoa Construction works on the current phase of the $615,000 renovation project, which includes gutting and complete renovation of the northern half of the first floor. A temporary wall has been erected to separate the work site from the southern half of the floor and to provide access to the elevator. When the northern half is completed in late February or early March, work on the southern half will begin, and access to the elevator will be switched to the northern half. Asbestos abatement also is included in the project.

Whittington said staff occupying the first floor will continue to be "juggled" somewhat during the semester, although the Emory Police Department's move to the North Decatur Building has made that process much easier than it might have been. People and offices scheduled to move to or remain on the first floor include: Vice President for Business Bobby Williams and his staff, and Kris West from the Office of the General Counsel (both of whom are currently on the fourth floor); the Equal Opportunity Programs office; Vice Provost for Institutional Planning and Research Susan Frost and her staff; and several Institutional Advancement offices.

The ever-popular Little Store also will return, probably by the end of February. The mailboxes in front of the Little Store will be replaced with newer ones. The break room also will return with an added feature: a large copy machine for use by Administration Building staff. Because of this new service, the Little Store plans to discontinue its copy service. The entire project will conclude with the completion of the elevator installation in late June and return of the remaining occupants of the southern end of the floor in early July.

The first floor renovation is part of a larger project that included renovations on the third floor that were completed late last fall as well as minor renovation work such as wall adjustments on the fourth floor. Whittington said the first floor corridor and offices will be carpeted and the restrooms rebuilt and made handicapped accessible. He said the new and improved first floor will feel more like the other floors and will provide a more appropriate entry point for trustees and other guests.

--Dan Treadaway