By: Flora Shemtob  | 

Brookdale Elevators To Be Replaced This Summer

Both of the elevators in Brookdale Residence Hall are going to be replaced this summer after breaking down multiple times over the past few years. The rest of the elevators throughout YU are going to be replaced in a “phased out manner, as necessary,” according to Chief Facilities & Administrative Officer Randy Apfelbaum. 

All of the renovations will occur while the buildings are empty so as not to affect the student body. During a normal year, Apfelbaum said, elevators take about six months to complete, but because of the supply shortage, the replacement process will take a little over nine months. The budget for the replacement of the elevators is being funded through the facilities department. Until the elevators can be replaced, an elevator maintenance worker will come once a week instead of once a month, and the security guards will have the fire department’s elevator squad on speed dial. 

Throughout recent years the elevators have broken down multiple times. In May 2019, one Beren student was in an elevator when it fell four floors to the basement, leaving her with a mild concussion. There was also an incident in October 2021 when the elevator fell from the fifth to third floor and opened unaligned with the floor. 

Additionally, YU has been fined several times over the years due to building code violations for elevators on both campuses. In October 2019, YU was fined $2,500 for having a “cracked copestone on the 18th floor” of the Brookdale elevators.

The university’s original plan was to fix the Brookdale elevators in May 2019 after the Beren student’s fall, Apfelbaum told The Commentator. They attributed the delay to COVID-19, though the pandemic did not hit America until March 2020, nearly one year later.

Since then, some elevators have continued to stop in between floors and plunge all the way to the basement as a safety mechanism. According to Apfelbaum, every time the elevators break down, completing repairs is getting harder and harder. The elevators are over 20 years old and finding the parts needed to fix them are nearly impossible and the university must get them specially manufactured. 

Many students are thankful to the school for fixing the elevators. “This is a big improvement, thank you for listening to us and replacing them,” said Miriam Mizrachi-Nacca (SCW ‘24). 

But other students, such as Gaby Rahmanfar (SCW ‘22), who had been in a Brookdale elevator when it malfunctioned in October 2021, are traumatized and skeptical. “For the first couple of days after the incident I was genuinely afraid to take the elevator,” she said. “I try to take the stairs as much as I can but living on the 14th floor doesn’t make that easy. Truthfully I’ll believe that they’re fixing the elevators when I see it. It should’ve been dealt with a long time ago.” 

Photo Caption: The Brookdale elevators are over 20 years old. 

Photo Credit: The Commentator