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Port Elevator a go-to for repair and installation

Elevators are getting in the news.

Not that they haven’t been but since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, when their need in public buildings became law, but they have taken on a renewed sense of importance with accessibility needs at the forefront of government discussion.

“We’re definitely busy,” said Matt Plagens, estimate and project manager at Port Elevator, 941 Nichols Place.

The company, which is proud to be included in this month’s Chamber Connection as a Business Spotlight, was founded in 1975.

“I think Port has been a member of the Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years,” Plagens said.

Its vision then and now is to provide the highest quality elevator equipment and the best possible service to customers, he said.

The company specializes in the installation of new elevators; modernization of existing elevators and the service, maintenance and repair of all types of elevators.

Owner Gerald Rexer acquired the business in 1985 and has grown the company from a two-man operation into the largest independently owned elevator company in central Pennsylvania, with about 20 employees.

Elevators are touchy but sturdy at the same time.

Often, the most problems with their mechanical issues occur with doors not opening and operating fixes, Plagens said.

If the elevator is off just a few inches the doors won’t open, he said.

Today, too, part of the building code has to do with the height of buttons — for those with mobility issues — and braille must be included for sight-impaired and blind individuals located on jams and inside the car or panel, he said.

The business was chosen by the city to put the elevators in the Trade and Transit Centre II, where City Council and the administration hold their meetings in order to meet accessibility requirements.

The business is a genuine family operation with many relatives involved, including a sibling, a brother-in-law, a cousin, and a son-in-law as well as some neighbors all working together, Plagens said.

“With this organization, we have developed long lasting personal relationships with our customers and have the resources to meet their vertical transportation needs,” he said.

The office staff regularly assist architects, contractors and building owners with planning, design, and consulting on elevator projects.

Service includes the ability to provide general, open-source, non-proprietary elevator specifications, general and detailed drawings, building systems coordination and building analysis to ensure the right system is used for each application.

Staff can help with the design of new elevator installations as well as the evaluation of existing equipment for modernization improvements.

The team has ability to assist in building code coordination for elevator design.

Some recent projects include all types of applications from a nine-stop overhead traction triplex modernization at a hospital to the installation of a new two-stop limited use/limited application elevator for a church. Other work includes new construction of a six stop basement traction duplex for a state university dormitory and a simple two-stop wheelchair lift with only thirty inches of travel.

“We work on all sizes of projects for our customers from big to small and most everything in between,” Plagens said.

The main office and warehouse is in Williamsport.

Port has a multiple-building facility with manufacturing and production space, parts and equipment storage, and staging areas.

It also has a branch office and warehouse in Lykens.

For additional information or for any inquiries, Port Elevator can be reached at 1-800-326-8422. Port Elevator is a member of the National Association of Elevator Contractors.

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