By BRYNN BOYER
Take a good look at the brown and white wooden signs in front of the buildings on-campus. By the end of the school year, Mary Washington will have gotten a face-lift for them.
The current signs were produced and maintained over the years by UMW Facilities Services, according to Director of University Marketing Jeanne Burkett.
“They worked well for that time, but now it’s time to move on,” she said.
The first phase of the project will replace the signs, some of which are decades old, with signs like those in front of the English, Linguistics, and Speech Department’s creative writing and debate building on William Street.
“I believe that [the project] will give the entire campus a more consistent and professional image, consistent with the high academic quality of the University,” Martin Wilder, vice president for enrollment and communications, said.
Every building on campus will have a new sign identifying the name of the building, the type of building it is, and any offices inside.
The first phase of the project, which will cost approximately $79,000 from the UMW Foundation, will also include four “way finding” signs.
Those signs, to be placed at Jepson, Seacobeck, George Washington Hall and Palmieri Plaza, will have directional arrows pointing to various buildings on-campus.
One of the motivations for the project, according to Wilder, was “to help those unfamiliar with the campus to find their way, and to make the University feel more welcoming to visitors.”
Acorn Sign Graphics, the company that has designed signs for Longwood University and Sweet Briar College, has designed the signs for Mary Washington.
Mounted on six-foot-tall black poles, the navy blue signs will all include the Mary Washington logo. The name of the building and any other identifying information will be printed in white.
“We want to upgrade the look of campus,” Burkett said.
Construction of the signs along Campus Walk should start around mid-April and should be finished by graduation.
The second phase of the project will encompass changing the signs for the parking lots, and should start over the summer.
“We’re not changing policy,” Burkett emphasized. “We’re making improvements on what we already have.”
For example, instead of the 8.5 by 11 laminated paper signs that are currently used to mark off special event parking, they hope to have more permanent signs.
The special committee in charge of the parking sign phase of the project will work with the University Police when it decides on new campus-wide parking signs.
The entire project, which, according to Burkett, should not exceed $150,000, should be completed by the fall.
“When the incoming class comes in, they should have a sense of confidence knowing where things are,” she said.