New building signs help visitors navigate campus
July 11, 2014
Buildings across campus are getting new identification signs that will make it easier for visitors, delivery drivers, and emergency responders to navigate the Virginia Tech campus.
The new signs will replace ones the university has been using since the 1980s. They will include building specific street addresses and bring an improved appearance to campus. The building signs are part of a Board of Visitors approved campus navigation plan and complement a project that began in 2013 to assign addresses to every building on campus.
In addition to the building signs, smaller ones will be installed near entrances and list up to six selected units located inside. Those signs will make it easier for pedestrians to determine building occupants since space is limited on existing signage.
“We are a world class institution, but a recent study found our existing campus navigation system leaves a lot to be desired. That is going to change and the new building signs are just one of the first steps,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administration.
Buildings in the academic and residential regions will get the signs beginning this summer with the majority being installed by the end of the year. Some buildings, including Fralin, Kelly, and Lavery halls and the Moss Arts Center, already have the new signs.
The new building signs are one of several improvements prompted by a recent study conducted by wayfinding experts Merje Design. The study found existing campus signage confusing, incomplete, and sometimes incorrect. Visitors to Virginia Tech, including emergency responders, sometimes have difficulty navigating campus. In addition, those with mobility impairments have reported difficulty finding accessible pathways around campus.
Another recent improvement is the installation of maps and directional signs in the academic region, which took place this spring. Also installed were new accessibility signs, which more clearly delineate accessible pathways for those with mobility impairments. Similar signs will be installed throughout the residential region this summer. Eventually, a whole new signage system will be in place across campus.
The new building signs were designed by the Office of University Planning and Merje Design to highlight the university brand and complement the existing campus environment. They have dark brown sign panels and silver metal posts, lettering and grid lines. The Virginia Tech brand is evident with use of a Hokie maroon address panel and the university shield on the post.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.