The Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts (GCFA) is now fully accessible, with the installation of a new passenger elevator which became operational Sept. 8, just in time for the start of classes.
The elevator is housed in a free-standing shaft of coloured glass rising to the skylights within GCFA’s sunny, three-storey atrium.
It can be accessed from all four floors in the building – from the studios, labs and maintenance facilities in the basement level to the student service areas, offices, visual arts studios, classrooms and research facilities located on the main, second and third floors.
An additional, key-operated passenger lift unit allows graduate students easy access to the computer lab in the mezzanine at the top of the building.
Built in the early 1970s, the Goldfarb Centre is one of the older buildings on York’s Keele campus. From the outset it had a key-controlled freight elevator for moving equipment and materials, but – as was not uncommon for low-rise buildings at that time – no provision for people other than staircases.
With the rising awareness of mobility and accessibility issues, the intervening decades have brought many improvements in the planning and construction of physical infrastructure to address these needs. The Goldfarb Centre’s new elevator is just the latest of many initiatives the University has undertaken to provide a barrier-free, accessible workplace for its students, staff and faculty.