Hereford’s elevator usage riddled with ups and downs

Jay Goetz, Reporter

Many have an irrational fear of being stuck in an elevator. For some, this has become a reality.  

Elevators have been used at Hereford since 1992 when the first elevator was installed in the main building. Although the elevators are meant to assist students with a physical disability or an injury, other students have consistently used the elevators for fun. This has often led to broken elevators which greatly affects some students. 

“If the gym elevator or the cafeteria elevator aren’t working, we have to reroute and leave class a little early, or go outside and take a different route,” Mrs. Caitlin Duvall, Special Education teacher, said.  

Not all students realize the importance of elevators. Constantly overusing them can cause maintenance errors and breakages. As seen with the gym elevator, which was installed in 2014, overuse of elevators can lead to damage, hindering certain students’ mobility.  

Other students who are inconvenienced by broken elevators are those with injuries. With a pass from the school nurse, injured students who aren’t able to use the stairs are given the privilege of using the elevators. Isabelle Say (’23) suffered a torn ACL and depended on the elevators to move around the building. This mode of transportation was not always reliable. 

“One time, an elevator went out of order, and I had to use the stairs,” Say said. “It was painful.” 

Elevators are broken roughly two to three times a year. This is credited to the inappropriate horseplay that occurs behind the doors. If you plan on entering an elevator and fooling around, it will catch you. The elevators are designed to detect actions like this and shut down for the safety of the immature students.  

“Entrapment occurs because those elevators, when you jump up and down in them with the slightest amount of vibration, will go into safety lockout,” Mr. Kevin Woods, building operations supervisor said. “Most of the time when we see students that are trapped, it is because they are in there roughhousing.” 

 The fire department must come to rescue the students stuck in an elevator. Along with the embarrassment of the rescue, students can be suspended.