Grievance: Elevators in Greensboro Tower which might be chronically out of order

One of the elevators in the Gateway Plaza shared apartment in downtown Greensboro is chronically out of order, says a resident who filed a complaint with the State Department of Labor earlier this week.

In the official complaint filed on Sunday, resident Karen Spigner said both elevators in the 16-story tower on Spring Garden Street are failing all the time, and one is out of order four to six times a month.

“During this pandemic, the elevator was out of service at least four times and provided an elevator that does not provide any ventilation to the airflow for the eight to ten people who have the capacity,” she wrote. “The only response from management is that they requested the service. However, the contractors never solve the problem of elderly and disabled residents being able to drive safely through the building. “

On Wednesday, Spigner received a response from a representative from the Department of Labor’s Elevator and Entertainment Equipment Bureau, stating that her complaint had been forwarded to an inspector for review.

“Don’t forget: we have [residents who use] Hikers and wheelchairs, ”Spigner said to Triad City Beat. “You have bags from shopping. It’s always full. They know it will take 10 or 15 minutes for the next elevator to come so they try to squeeze. “

Maggie Larkins, Special Projects Manager at Greensboro Housing Authority, issued a written statement to Triad City Beat in response to the complaint.

“If there is a problem with an elevator on a Greensboro Housing Authority property, it will be shipped immediately,” the statement said. “These elevators are serviced every month and have always passed Labor Department inspection. It should be understood that at no time are both elevators ever out of order. GHA works to keep such disruptions to a minimum. “

Spigner denied the statement that at least one of the elevators is always in operation.

“If they say that there was no time that both elevators were out of service at the same time, that is an absolute lie,” she said. Spigner, who has lived at Gateway Plaza for about five years, added that people were temporarily stuck in elevators twice in the past month.

Spigner said the second elevator was repaired Wednesday night, adding, “I bet it’ll be out by Friday.”

When asked Thursday to comment on why the second elevator is failing so often, Larkins said she would search for and respond to TCB by Friday. Larkins also said she would address Spigner’s concerns that congestion due to an elevator that is frequently out of order puts residents at risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Spigner’s complaint about the elevators at Gateway Plaza is similar to the situation in Crystal Towers, another high-rise social housing that houses the elderly and the disabled. One of the two elevators at Crystal Towers, owned and operated by the Winston-Salem Housing Authority, is often out of order. Citing a lack of funding for the necessary renovations at Crystal Towers, the housing authority is seeking permission from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to sell the property.

According to Spigner, the maintenance staff at Gateway Plaza is telling residents that the elevators are breaking because people are constantly holding the doors. But it doesn’t seem right to keep her waiting, she said.

“There are disabled people and you have to keep the elevator open for them,” said Spigner.

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