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January 12, 2012

Cowley student inspires new elevator in Galle-Johnson


Ethan BartlettHaving received three degrees from Cowley College and being currently enrolled in Calculus for Business & Economics, Ethan Bartlett (pictured) is a familiar face on the Arkansas City campus. Along with excelling in the classroom, Bartlett also inspired the school to construct a new elevator inside Galle-Johnson.

The roughly six-month project was recently completed to the satisfaction of Bartlett, who was among the first to utilize the new elevator, which provides full access to the entire building. The previous elevator was barely adequate and access was limited because a special key was required to make it work. 

Tony Crouch, executive vice president of business services at Cowley College, worked closely with Conco, Gordon and Associates, Graham Electric, ThyssenKrupp, and Winfield Plumbing and Heating on installing the new elevator. Cowley employees Bryan McChesney and Clinton Marlow also spent several hours moving cable to accommodate the elevator.

“It is exciting to me to know that the quality science labs upstairs are now easily accessible, and ultimately, this opens the lower level to new possibilities as well,” Crouch said.

As a junior at Arkansas City High School Bartlett began taking classes at Cowley College. He began as a student in the Cisco Networking program. After graduating from Ark City High School in 2003, Bartlett continued to take classes at Cowley. He obtained an Associate of Arts degree from the school in 2005, an Associate of General Studies degree in July 2009, and an Associate of Science degree in Dec. 2009.

“I like to challenge myself and seek self improvement,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett, who uses a wheelchair, needed assistance operating the previous elevator. He spoke to Mark Richardson, who serves as the college’s disabilities coordinator, about the possibility of the college installing a new elevator. Richardson then shared Bartlett’s thoughts and concerns about the old elevator with Crouch. Although it took some time, the funds became available to redo the elevator system in Galle-Johnson and make the entire campus accessible to all.

“I think anyone with mobility issues will appreciate this a lot,” Bartlett said. “I like it because I can operate it by myself.”

During the time the elevator was under construction, David Hays, Calculus for Business & Economics instructor would meet with Bartlett in the school’s library to go over classroom work.

“Cowley has great instructors, I recommend the school to people all the time,” Bartlett said.

Along with the elevator project, Cowley was able to remodel the upstairs hallway in Galle-Johnson as well as two stairwells.