Campus directories blank around Laurier’s campus

Photo by Heather Davidson
Photo by Heather Davidson

Wilfrid Laurier University’s physical resources department is looking at a new way to post signage around campus in the upcoming year.

For over six months, the wayfinding signs around Laurier’s campus have been missing their additional directory of departments and offices within specific buildings.

According to Gary Nower, assistant vice president of physical resources, this is due to a lack of finance to maintain the signs the same way as in previous years.

“There’s no money for signs unfortunately,” Nower said. “They’re a pain to maintain and very expensive. To slide in a new name, it costs me almost $2,000.”

Nower said that all of the signs throughout campus were changed at the same time to just show the building and its number because of an inconsistency in department and office locations, as well as a lack of funding for signs.

“They were all done at the same time because people kept moving and moving, so one day there’s this department in this building and the next day they’re not,” he said. “So we can’t keep up with all the changes because we’re not always aware of them to make the changes.

“And when we go to make the changes, we can’t afford it because it’s not in the budget.”

The signs haven’t been renovated so far due to the lack of funding for physical resources. However, Nower said that money has now come from a previous project.

“One project has been cancelled, and we’re taking the money from one project and will start upgrading signs,” he said.

In order to maintain the signs throughout campus, physical resources is looking at investing in smaller, simpler signs. Nower says this follows a typical signage standard that was developed by a consultant several years ago.

The consultant indicated that signs do not need an extensive directory, but rather a simple indication of what the building is.

“The only thing staying the same is the building, and our wayfinding standards say in order to have a wayfinding sign, all you need is the name of the building. So that’s what we’ve done, and that’s why we did it that way.”

“It’s convoluted, but we had no choice.”

In regards to fixing the signs, which have also been damaged physically, all signs both internally and externally within WLU will eventually be changed. According to Nower, WLU physical resources will be getting a price estimate for the new signs in August, and will be looking to start the renovations in October. However, he also said that this would take time.

Nower stressed that in order to make Laurier more cohesive, wayfinding signs need to follow the new standards.

“We didn’t just wake up one day and decide to do this,” he said. “All of our decisions are now based on these practices for signage and wayfinding standards, and that’s what we’re trying to implement.”

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