The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Five Emergency Lights Added

2 min read


This semester, five new blue lights are being erected around campus as part of a project that will cost the university $160,000. The new lights received a makeover, and though they work essentially the same way as the existing ones, they have a completely different look.

The campus will now have two different sets of lights, as there are no plans to replace the existing ones.

The addition of five blue lights brings the total to 139 lights located on and around campus. The new lights have been placed to strategically fill gaps in high traffic areas like College Avenue in front of duPont Hall, the crosswalk to the University Apartments, and the corner of Seacobeck Hall by College Avenue.

These lights are already in place, and as of last week the blue lights at duPont Hall and the crosswalk to the Apartments are operational.

“The project was an undertaking as the result of findings on numerous safety walks, the most recent having been held in September 2009,” Assistant Vice President for Public Safety Susan Knick said.

The new blue lights are part of a larger project that also includes the installation of several dozen new sidewalk and streetlights. The new streetlights will be located mainly on Sunken Road.

“I think it’s really great that they’re putting lights up on Sunken Road.

I often walk that road, and it’s pretty unnerving at night, even sometimes during the daytime,” senior Melissa Merritt said.

The project has been delayed due to winter weather but should be finished later this spring, according to John Wiltenmuth, associate vice president for facilities services.

“The new blue lights look like they actually might work in case of an emergency,” senior Caitlin Oshida said. “They do remind me of hospital signs, but overall they look very modern and efficient.”

These blue lights are significantly larger, with ‘emergency’ spelled out in prominent white lettering on all four sides, as well as distinctly brighter lights. The increased size of the blue lights increases their visibility, but at a cost.

“The new blue lights are less aesthetically pleasing than the old ones,” senior Megan Thompson said.