There was plenty of huffing and puffing in the Lucas County Courthouse as staff and visitors were forced to use the stairs.
Both public elevators were out of order Tuesday and were expected to remain that way today.
“The elevators are broke,” Court Deputy Mike Awls called out as a lawyer apparently didn’t believe the “Out of Order” signs posted on the doors of both lifts.
One of the elevators has been inoperable for more than a month — a part is on order. The second was short-circuited Tuesday by a roof leak over the elevator control room, said Court Administrator Don Colby.
Employees, lawyers, and others who can’t climb the four flights of stairs were escorted by security personnel on the lone working elevator in the building, which normally is used only by prisoners being taken to and from the jail and by judges.
Roger Kerner, Jr., director of the Office of Court Deputies, said he planned to assign a court deputy to the elevator to handle such situations beginning today and continuing until the other elevators are repaired.
“It’s not a public elevator,” he said of the prisoners’ elevator, which extends to the basement-level tunnel that connects the courthouse to the Lucas County jail. “It’s a secured area.”
Tom Dodds, capital projects manager for the county, said the roof leak is in one of seven areas in the central part of the courthouse roof slated to be repaired this summer.
“We’d gone out for bids once but we only had one bid and it was more than by law that we could award,” he said. “We re-advertised, had a pre-bid-meeting last week, and the bids are due Aug. 11.”
If the county receives competitive bids, he said, it hopes to award the contract and get the roof fixed yet this summer.
Mr. Colby said he couldn’t say when the elevators would be repaired.
“I can’t honestly tell you. I’m hoping by the end of the week,” he said.