Owen, Tucker Halls Level Up in Accessibility
New elevators were installed in both Tucker and Owen residence halls last week, making the buildings’ upper floors accessible to all students.
For the first time, the upper floors of Tucker and Owen residence halls will be accessible for all residents, after new elevators were installed in both buildings last week.
The two residence halls, which opened in 1947, house a combined 700 residents as well as the Exploratory Studies Village, and have never had elevators until now.
“With the lack of elevators previously, options were limited for residents who may have had mobility limitations, with just the basement or first floor of either building being accessible,” said Dylan Morris, assistant director of conference and guest services in University Housing. “Access to common areas (like community lounges and laundry rooms) was difficult for individuals who could not use stairs and required residents to go outside and around the building.”
The project is part of a larger effort by University Housing to expand accessibility and has been several years in the making.
“While this project may be one of our most visible commitments to universal design, it is just one of the many improvements University Housing continues to make to improve accessibility in our residence halls,” said Pete Fraccaroli, director of DASA Facilities Planning & Management.
In addition to the new elevators, DASA Facilities has made ADA accommodations in a number of rooms throughout the building including widening doors and resetting plumbing fixtures at appropriate heights. Staff also changed the grade of the front porches on both buildings and removed stairs that had existed since the building was originally built.
“Tucker and Owen were built in the late 1940s to accommodate the influx of students returning from World War II,” said Abinadi Ehrisman, assistant director of DASA Facilities. “Over the years we have looked at installing elevators several times and it just had not come to fruition until now. I’m excited to see the finished product sometime in November or early December, and to be able to welcome our students back in January with elevators that are up and running.”
Mark Newmiller, director of the Disability Resource Office (DRO), said it publicly showcases the commitment by University Housing to create an accessible environment for students with disabilities.
“NC State, as a community, is committed to accessibility across campus,” Newmiller said. “Student Government has prioritized the importance of access and has been an advocate by partnering to support our Accessibility Excursion the last couple years. The University Architect’s Office and Capital Project Management have provided great leadership in identifying inaccessible buildings and pathways, and have initiated a transition plan to make North Campus much more accessible. As a campus, NC State still has work to do, but I am very proud of the leadership and dedication so many have shown in working toward an accessible and inclusive campus.”
See a time lapse of the elevator installation at Tucker Hall on Facebook: