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Elevator Added to Waldo Hall Article

Albany Democrat-Herald article on the instalation of the Waldo Hall elevator

CORVALLIS- A week ago, Bret Martin couldn’t get to the third floor of Oregon State University’s Waldo Hall to talk to his adviser.

But last week the university installed an elevator in the building, and Martin no longer has to ask his adviser to meet him downstairs.

Martin, a senior from Tangent, is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair.

Martin said he was not the only one who had problems getting up the stairs. The third floor of Waldo Hall houses the Special Services Project and Education Opportunities Learning Center offices, both of which are visited often by disabled students, he said. Waldo Hall was built in 1907.

An open house and ribbon cutting to celebrate installation of the elevator is set for 10 a.m. Friday at the elevator on the first floor of Waldo Hall.

“I think it is great,” Martin said Wednesday.

When he was 11 years old, Martin was paralyzed from the waist down when the tractor tire he was sitting on exploded. After being in a coma for nine weeks and spending nine months in the hospital, he returned to his family’s farm and to school.

Martin’s accident hasn’t slowed him down. As a wrestler for West Albany High School his senior year, Martin was featured in a winning match on national television. Tuesday night he was re-elected vice-president of OSU’s Disabled Student Organization.

Since graduating from West in 1985, Martin has earned an associate degree and a welding certificate from Linn Benton Community College and hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in both occupational safety and psychology from OSU in 1992. After that, he plans to attend graduate school.

Martin is also a member of the OSU president’s advisory committee on handicap accessibility.

To get the elevator installed in the building, the Disabled Student Organization last year threatened to file a complaint with the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. The complaint would have required that all federal funds to OSU – about a quarter of the university’s budget – be withheld until accessibility problems were resolved.

But before the group filed the complaint, university officials agreed to install the elevator.[1]

[1] Oberst, Gail. "OSU Installs Elevator in Waldo Hall." Albany Democrat-Herald 28 Feb. 1991: n. pag. Print.