Updated signs ease navigation

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Navigating around campus should be far simpler for those unfamiliar with its layout because new signs have been created and installed.

Before the new signs were created, red signs had been used to help visitors and residents of campus find their way. However, the red signs were viewed as insufficient.

“We had street corners without street names on them,” said Steve Hocquard, assistant vice president of facilities, planning and construction.

Lacking street signs and other important navigational indicators was a significant issue. In addition, the existing signs were extremely out of date.

“Campus signage was last updated over 20 years ago, and much has changed on campus over that period of time,” said Executive Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs Jim Muladore, the top boss working on this project, according to Hocquard.

Clearly, a change needed to be made. The project first came into discussion a few years ago. After comments from a variety of sources over the years about the inadequateness of the red signs, the decision to replace the signs was made by SVSU leader.

“We decided to get rid of the very old red signs, and not only replace them, but also add to them because our wayfinding was not as robust as it should be potentially,” Hocquard said.

Once the decision was made, the project’s planning commenced. Funding was acquired in the spring of 2015, and work in the field began in the spring of 2016.

Designing the new signs was an important part of the project. When it came to choosing a company to complete the crucial task, SVSU decided to go with someone who it has had experience with in the past. Jan McCarthy of Inkspot Design has worked on and off with SVSU for 20 years.

McCarthy decided to make the new signs brown to go with the other signs on campus that would not be replaced, such as the sign for Founders Hall, the sign on the corner of Bay Road and Pierce Road, and the sign on the corner of Pierce Road and Davis Road. Another aspect of the design was the idea that names of buildings could easily be changed in the event that a building was renamed.

“The new signage is designed in a manner that university staff can easily and inexpensively change building names and directions on signs as may be necessary in the future,” Muladore said.

With funding acquired and a design locked down, the installation of the signs began. Besides a lack cooperation from the weather in the beginning of the project, no major setbacks were experienced.

According to Hocquard, the contractors involved in the installation process were excellent and cooperative, making the project go smoothly. Exterior signs were not the only additions, however.

“The project also includes new interior way finding signage for Curtiss Hall intended to provide better location directions to the events and activities held in that facility,” Muladore said.

Even with all the wayfinding signs installed inside buildings and around Saginaw Valley’s campus, the project is not yet complete. The final piece of the project will be replacing the electronic sign by J-Lot, which is about 18 years old and has been broken. Its replacement is currently being created and installed on College Drive. When entering campus off Bay Road, the new electronic sign will feature information and announcements about upcoming events on campus, such as sporting events and conferences.

Hocquard is happy with the project overall and believes the new signs are a great improvement. He feels the new signs are a wonderful addition to SVSU’s already beautiful campus. Visitors, residents, and faculty will easily be able to navigate campus.