Art School Elevator

Elevators are so ubiquitous, we often take them for granted. Our Art School elevator is now scheduled for demolition, relocation, and installation. This complicated, labor-intensive, costly endeavor will greatly improve access, way-finding, and energy costs.

For more than 30 years, 30,000 students and visitors annually used the 2,100-pound hydraulic passenger elevator. The elevator had moved past its useful life expectancy of 25 years, and the frequency of servicing for malfunction had progressively increased. Additionally, the elevator’s location (in the north side of the administration wing) was inconvenient for students, especially those with physical disabilities, and very confusing to locate for visitors unfamiliar with the facility. 

The FIA has purchased a new, energy-efficient lift, which operates on one-third the horsepower of the existing elevator, significantly improving energy efficiency, and reducing the FIA’s energy consumption. Utilizing a permanent magnet and gearless motor, the new technology allows for all control and logic components to be located within the hoistway, eliminating the need for a control room. The compact size allows for the elevator to be relocated to a central place in the south corridor of the Art School. The elevator installation is tentatively scheduled for completion by the opening of the fall semester of studio classes.

Partial funding for the elevator project was received as a Capital Improvement grant award from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. The improvements resulting from these grants enable citizens of all ages and abilities to enjoy more cultural events while increasing their participation within their communities.