Campus Operations began the replacement of five sets of stairs on campus on Wednesday, July 13. All stairs are expected to be replaced by September 15. “The construction has started already and one of the staircases has already been taken down,” stated Project Supervisor William Tribble. “As the stairs are put in we will be opening up each staircase when it’s complete.”
The stairs that need to be repaired are situated in the rear of the A building, in the back of the C building by the smoke shelter, in the courtyard next to the arts section of the C building and at the B building near the bookstore and the central courtyard, said Tribble.
According to him, the stairs need to be replaced because they were built in 1969 and have become worn out. Moreover, they no longer fulfill the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA details construction and accessibility standards for public buildings, schools and community centers. It also includes specific requirements for the construction of stairs, for example how high a handrail should be. Since July 13, Campus Operations is busy with the replacement of the old stairs. They will create “new stairs which are going to be more accessible and which don’t have the defects that the existing stairs have,” said Tribble.
The necessity for new stairs has been recognized during a campus assessment by the state in 2013. Every two years, “the state architect comes up and does a facilities conditions survey of the whole campus,” stated Tribble. “He inspects our electrical equipment and the condition of all the existing buildings.” During his last visit, the state architect stressed the fact that some stairs at Bellevue College were in very poor condition and needed replacing. “We got money from the state in 2015 to undertake that project to replace those stairs,” Tribble said. Bellevue College Campus Operations now has two years to spend the money and finish the repairs of the stairs.
Apart from the stair replacements, Campus Operations is also doing a large project in the B building which will be the new physics and research lab. “We have plenty projects and we are always doing something on campus,” declared Tribble.