The Pacific Index

Stairwell receives temporary changes for improved safety

Guthrie Straw

Facilities placed boards between the slats in the staircases in the University Center to prevent potential incidents.

Katie Sipos

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Since being outfitted with wooden boards during Winter III, stairwells in the University Center have enjoyed an unprecedented excess of limelight. Theories have run amok, growing more and more ridiculous with the absence of answers.

“Did something fall through?”

“Did some kid get stuck?”

“Was someone looking up skirts?”

Director of the Pacific Information Center Denise Giesbers provided put and end to all the speculation, stating that the stairs were built well before current safety regulations and posed a hazard.

The Building Officials and Code Administration regulations state, “In residential, institutional, and commercial applications, there must be intermediate materials (pickets) such that a 4-inch sphere cannot pass through.”

The slats, or pickets, running vertically between the stairs and the handrails in the UC are spaced 11 and 12 inches apart, three times regulation width.

Giesbers pushed for something to be done. She worried that a child could accidentally plunge the whopping 30 feet to the stairs below, causing injury to itself and possibly others. Giesbers turned her worries into action by seeking the confirmation of the facilities department. The boards were installed soon after.

“All I could see was liability, liability and someone getting hurt,” Giesbers said.

Plans for a permanent solution to replace this temporary fix are unknown but Pacific finds itself that much safer because of a concerned individual.

And all the skirt-wearers on campus can breathe easier.

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Stairwell receives temporary changes for improved safety