Going up? Rapides Courthouse to get new elevators

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - How old are the elevators at the Rapides Parish Courthouse? Well, their funding came from FDR’s “New Deal” back in 1938.

Members of the Rapides Parish Police Jury pose with State Senator Jay Luneau and project manager Thomas David after announcing the $500,000 project to replace the Courthouse elevators. | Credit: KALB

That, however, is about to change. On Wednesday, the Rapides Parish Policy Jury announced that they have funding in place to replace two of the three current public elevators by the summer of 2020.

With help from the state’s Capital Outlay Program, the Police Jury will spend $125,000 on the replacement and renovation, with $375,000 will come from the state.

Project engineer Thomas David said the change is more than needed and credited State Senator Jay Luneau of District 29 for helping push the project forward.

"It's a good day for Rapides Parish,” Luneau said. "It's been a long time coming. Not many buildings have elevators that were installed in 1938, so we're very thankful that we are going to have those installed here in the next year and have them up and running and ready to go.”

David said the modernization will include two new elevators and their corresponding control systems, hoists, cables and more. As such, the new elevators will not require RPSO trustees to operate them. He said the new elevators will improve passenger safety, meet current safety codes, improve reliability and reduce maintenance downtime.

One final note – the contact for the project was awarded to Otis Elevator, the same company that installed the original elevators 80 years ago.

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