Long Wait for One Elevator at Paquin Tower

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COLUMBIA - It has been a long and hot past few days, and residents of Paquin Tower are dealing with the heat plus extra waiting time for one elevator in their 15 story building.

One of the two elevators in the building has been out of service since early last week. The building issued a notice telling residents that the elevator was out of service until further notice. Now the second elevator is having mechanical issues as well.

When both elevators are working correctly, waiting time is around 2 minutes. People have been waiting close to ten minutes to use one for several days.

CEO of Columbia Housing Authority Phil Steinhaus said the Paquin Tower elevators are inspected regularly. During the most recent inspection one of the elevators called for new cable installation.

This process takes around two days to complete. Installers need to take down the old cables, install new ones and then a series of testing must be completed. The elevator is tested at full maximum load capacity by loading several large barrels on the elevator to make sure it operates correctly. Finally a state safety inspector comes in to make sure all the work is done and the elevators are operating properly.

Steinhaus said the elevators are a major issue and he knows how important the elevators are to the building.

Jeremy Jacobi has lived in the building since 2009. Jacobi said the elevators have been a recurring problem.

"Usually when there's two elevators working it's not as heavy, but when you have to cram all kinds of people in one to go all over other floors it takes twice as long."

There are approximately 200 units and residents in the high rise building with 15 floors. The building is designated for people with disabilities and seniors ages 62 and older. Some residents who live in the building have physical disabilities and are unable to use the stairs.