Setting a new look for the next 50 years, MU campus facilities installed new metal signs identifying residence halls, buildings and parking garages on campus.
Not only will these signs identify recently constructed buildings, but they will also replace 50-year-old wooden signs designed like ones found on park grounds, said Phil Shocklee, associate director of campus facilities.
In comparison with the former wooden signs, some students think the new signs add to the campus’ image.
“They make the campus seem more sophisticated,” said MU student Eric Jackson. “They put a little pizzazz onto the campus.”
The initial order, placed in the summer 2004, cost $67,000 for 44 signs. This included 13 single-post signs and 31 double-posts signs, with each sign priced at $1,300 and $1,600, respectively. Several bids were received on the sign order; this was the lowest bid.
“When you consider that these signs will be used for the next 50 years or more, as the other signs were, we think this is a good investment for the university,” Shocklee said.
Considering the life span of the former wooden signs, some think the additional expense for metal was unnecessary.
“They’re just something cool to look at,” Jackson said.
“We would have done fine with the old ones.”
The signs are made of aluminum with high-quality paint and steel posts. The paint finish is designed to replicate a metal patina.
All of the signs from the first order have been installed with three or four exceptions, such as the sign for the Student Recreation Center, which will go up when the facility is completed. Subsequent orders for signs will be made as funds become available. There is no timetable set for all of the signs to be installed across campus.
The new design is more in touch with the ever-improving aesthetics of the campus and botanic garden, Shocklee said. This effort for continuity in the appearance of the campus did not meet everyone’s approval.
“They are very ugly,” said MU student Fred Veinfurt.
The signs’ autumn-leaf motif does not match anything on campus, he said, and the design would have been improved by just using the school colors of black and gold. Although he agrees signs are needed to identify all of the buildings on campus, Veinfurt said a cheaper material, such as plastic, may have been preferable.