By: Ayah Ahmed
After years of unsafe access to the parking lots, work is finally getting done.
The staircases by West 1 and West 2 parking lots have been deemed unsafe since winter of 2019, when cones were set up to prevent their use. Students are still using the wobbly stairs as they routinely walk over the cones and around the barrier to avoid taking the alternate route.
The current project of improving access from our parking lots to the main plaza and academic building is being run by project manager, Sean Connolly.
“The existing stairs suffer from weather-related deterioration, making them unsafe for use,” Connolly said, “We are hoping to start work shortly, but that may be weather-dependent based on temperatures.”
This past week there has been work done to the Entry Pavilion stairs which are expected to be complete within the next week. Many of the commuters and faculty that park in West 1 rely on their stairs to get to the main plaza.
One man running too late to take the safer route rushed up the coned stairs and said that they “are terrible, they’ve been terrible for years.”
Students that are new to Purchase are unaware of the safety concerns of the stairs. Rebecca Moore and Nina Tuxbury, both freshmen, were waiting by the bus stop West 2 after coming down the steps.
Moore said after months of living on campus and not noticing, “How exactly are they broken?”
“There isn't a more available way to go unless you walk through a building,” Tuxbury said.
She isn't wrong, for access to the Main Plaza from West 2, people can use the elevator inside of the Music building, or enter the Performing Arts Center underpass and gain access through the CMFT.
Connolly took note of people disregarding the warnings by the stairs and decided to install new plywood barriers which should deter using the stairs.
“Once the contractor is on-site, they will close off the area while the repairs work is done,” Connolly said.
As the campus eagerly wait for the newly upgraded stairs that will be safe, ADA compliant, and have new handrails and lighting, Connolly warns that it is all up to the weather. “If weather prevents us from starting the work soon, we’ll have to wait until early spring to do the work,” he says.