New modular elevator added to mill building


A modular elevator is installed Tuesday at the Rocky Mount Mills.


Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

People going down Falls Road on Tuesday might have noticed something unique going on in the midst of construction taking place at the Rocky Mount Mills.

A fully assembled elevator hoisted high in the air by a large crane was slowly dropped in a section of the Main Mill building. The company Resolute Elevator out of Burlington was used as a subcontractor by general contractor C.T. Wilson Construction Co. to install a Phoenix Modular Elevator at the Mills. The company is an authorized distributor of the elevator.

A modular elevator is comprised of a welded steel hoistway that contains the elevator rails, hydraulic jack, pit ladder, pit light, pit ground-fault circuit-interrupter, hoistway door system, all related wiring and the car pre-installed inside.

Kimberly Todd, a graduate of N.C. Wesleyan College, is president and one of the owners of Resolute Elevator that was started in 2015. The HUB certified independent elevator company is a woman-majority owned business ran by fellow female owner Kimmie Suber, who operates as controller, and Jonathan Fox, who is the vice president.

Todd said the modular elevator is going to be used for one of the apartment buildings being constructed at the Mills and will be located in the main Mill entrance. According to a release, the developers of the Rocky Mount Mills were looking for an elevator that would be a solution to a tight construction schedule.

Mills officials added the modular elevator installation was the first of its kind in Rocky Mount and was just the innovative product that was able to keep this project on schedule. The modular elevator was shipped by a truck to the jobsite and set into place with a crane.

“It would’ve taken a couple weeks or longer to do this conventionally,” Todd said. “The modular design reduces total installation time from several months to a week or less.”

Suber said Resolute Elevator has installed several commericial elevators for building projects in North Carolina. But the modular elevators that are manufactured in Illinois are allowing the company to become more recognizable by contractors because they’re more cutting-edge and innovative.

A couple years ago, Resolute Elevator also was used as a subcontractor for C.T. Wilson to install a modular elevator at the renovated Revolution Mill in Greensboro. Last year, Resolute Elevator installed a modular elevator at one of the buildings on the campus of William Peace University in Raleigh and in the Johnston County Department of Social Services.

Todd said the modular elevator is self-supporting and built to withstand extreme seismic activity and hurricane-force winds. Suber added that modular elevators are safer and save time and money. 

“The safety issue is a big one because there is never an open shaft so the fall hazard is almost non-existent (compared to) conventional elevator shafts,” Suber said. “The modular elevator saves so much time because this can be built in tandem when the on-site general contractor is doing their construction,  so it’s not like there has to be a time set aside just for construction of the modular elevator. Also, it’s less expensive because of instead of having the people to build the drywalls and getting electricians to run all the wiring, however, everything is included.”

Suber said the installation of modular elevators are more a norm on the West Coast than the East Coast. She said the company does “lunch and learn” meetings with architects to educate them more about modular elevators and how they can be used as an asset for their building projects. 

“They learn about this option, so when they’re drawing a plan or working with a customer they have this information in their tool box of options,” Suber said. “That’s the key to getting it out there is getting it built into plans where the plans are specified for a modular elevator rather than a conventional elevator.”