The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Students ignore barriers as stairs to Easton remain usable

Photo by Pierson White for The Lafayette
The Easton stairs remain traversable despite having been closed off for months.

Despite barriers being put in place, students continue to use the stairs linking campus to downtown Easton. According to those who continue to use the stairs, progress on construction appears to be stagnant.

“I think it’s still safe, especially living in Ruef or Keefe or South,” one student who wishes to remain anonymous said. “They’re the most convenient to go downtown. But as soon as they start [construction], we need to stop using it.”

According to Craig Becker, the associate vice president of Finance, construction is already underway, with the project being roughly 20 percent complete.

“About 90% of grubbing and tree removals have been completed,” Becker wrote in an email. “The original stairways have been prepared for the restoration process by removing the original handrails.”

The bulk of the work is yet to be done, however. 

“The original stairs will be disassembled, and the stone tread and risers will be cleaned and reset on a concrete bed and mortared into place with new handrails,” Becker wrote. “The original concrete sidewalks will be demolished and replaced with new concrete sidewalks, including new drainage swales, and the sidewalks would be anchored to the ground in certain areas to prevent movement downslope.”

The stairs are expected to be completed in June 2023.

Becker said that larger barriers are being erected to prevent more students from going down the stairs.

“We encourage students to be responsible and take heed of safety warnings,” Becker wrote. “We are installing signage at every entranceway. Trespassing can impact construction timelines and costs. While the escarpment project is under construction, we would like to remind the campus community that it is illegal to trespass in an active construction zone. Anyone caught trespassing in a construction zone could be charged with defiant trespassing.”

According to the aforementioned anonymous student, the barriers are not preventing the scaling of the stairs.

“I did see a couple of girls climbing up the barrier the other day,” the student said. “I think they were increasing the [size of the] barriers distributed so students couldn’t access [the steps].”

Another student who wished to remain anonymous said that she braved the stairs this past Tuesday.

“They tried to like make them a little harder to get around, but that hasn’t really worked,” she said. “It is more convenient than going all the way around because I live on the right side of campus and have a lot of [my] classes down the hill because I’m an art major.”

Director of Public Safety Jeff Troxell said that no students have been caught using the stairs yet. Despite this, he still advises students not to scale the barriers.

“It’s dangerous,” Troxell said. “It’s unsafe.”

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Pierson White
Pierson White, Staff Photographer

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