Repairs in Oak View keep maintenance busy

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Elyse Gregory

Functional issues with the Oak View Hall elevators create issues for residents in the building.

Cheyanne Kramer, Web Editor

Broken pipes, malfunctioning dryers, overactive fire alarms, oven problems and elevator mishaps have all plagued Oak View Hall since it opened in September 2014.

However, as of last week, both the oven in Tilly’s and the upperclassmen side elevator have been repaired following student complaint.

The Tilly’s oven was replaced following a fried motherboard, leading the entire unit to be replaced with a spare that Chartwells already owned.

“Although problems like these are always bound to happen, what bothers me the most is the fact they remain unresolved for so long,” said Zachary Pascua, an Oak View resident. “These are mostly minor inconveniences, and I still enjoy living in this building, but the problems that arise could be taken care of much more efficiently.”

James Zentmeyer, director of Oakland University Housing, said that these problems are usually handled in a timely manner once they are reported.

“We are always looking for faster response times,” he said.

The elevators breaking down has been a hot-button topic for Oak View residents. Bailey Lynch, another resident in Oak View, said the north elevator was down “more times than she could count” last year.

“It was kind of insane,” she said. “It seemed like we didn’t have enough people on maintenance to solve the problem efficiently.”

Zentmeyer said that the east elevator, which most recently went down, has been the elevator with the fewest service calls since Oak View opened. The one with the most service calls has been the main north elevator, which is a different type than the two wing elevators.

In addition, in order for the elevators to be repaired, a call needs to be made requesting an off-campus service provider to come on site.

OU has its elevators serviced by Schindler Elevator, the same company that produced the elevators in Oak View Hall.

Zentmeyer believes that Building No. 9, the new Housing facility, will use a different elevator firm than Schindler.

In terms of general building repair, Zentmeyer said the biggest problem has been the lack of a paper trail. He said that, oftentimes, students assume that the right people have been told, rather than talking about the problems to the appropriate people.

“I can see people thinking, ‘Oh, I better not report a problem or I am being a problem,’ which should never be the case,” he said.

If students face any kind of maintenance problems, Zentmeyer recommends they contact the maintenance number themselves at (248) 370-2381. This number allows for students to place a work order, which will be prioritized according to importance.

Problems can also be reported to the RA on duty or to the building director.

“We also have student employees called ‘maintenance assistants’ that are on call overnight, so they can handle a clogged drain or other rudimentary issues,” Zentmeyer said. “But if it’s an issue that goes beyond their capability, we also have a Housing professional trade staff on call every evening.”

Zentmeyer said that issues pertaining to water and electricity should always be reported as soon as possible, as these can escalate quickly. He said that although issues are assessed over summer, that’s hard to do when the buildings are occupied during the academic year. Thus, Housing relies on students to report when problems occur.