No progress on Wilfrid Laurier’s signs

Signs at the entrances of campus have had their logos defaced, while other wayfinding signs have been blank for the past nine months. (Photo by: AndrianaVinnitchok)
Signs at the entrances of campus have had their logos defaced, while other wayfinding signs have been blank for the past nine months. (Photo by: AndrianaVinnitchok)

If the signage around campus is leaving you more confused than directed, you likely aren’t alone. For the past nine months at Wilfrid Laurier University, building directory signs have remained empty, signs have been broken and others have been left mismatched.

“The signs we have now…it’s just a dog’s breakfast of signs,” admitted vice president of physical resources at Laurier, Gary Nower.

But physical resources seems to have its hands tied regarding the issue, as — according to Nower — there is no room in their budget to update the signage.

“The old signs, they are expensive and outdated and [the department] doesn’t have the money to maintain them the way that they are now,” said Nower.

Because of this cost of upkeep, physical resources developed a new signage standard for Laurier.

Nower explained that building identification signs will no longer include departments within the building because it is impossible and expensive to keep up with.

The other major change will be a new uniform consistency among Laurier’s interior and exterior signs. These signs will conform to the same approved colour and font scheme to more effectively act as an official guide around campus.

The planning has been both completed and approved; now it is just a matter of finding the right time where there is approximately a half a million dollars worth of budget room to update the signs.

“The half a million dollar budget includes all of the signs for Waterloo, Kitchener and Brantford campus signs to be updated,” said Nower.

For now, the only signs that will undergo improvements are the flagship signs located at each of the campus’ entrances. These signs have had their logos completely ripped off. These gateway signs are to be replaced with new signs before December of this year.

“There is a project that has been cancelled that has made some money available, and we are changing all of the gateway feature signs,” Nower said.

Other exterior building identification and wayfinding signs will remain on hold indefinitely until room is made in the budget cycle.

“It’s amazing how expensive signage is… One of the building identification signs can cost $2,500 to have made and installed.”

“We are hoping over time to replace all the exterior signage, but it is the exterior signage that we are facing budget issues with because of other priorities,” he continued.

Physical resources has any number of competing projects that pushes updating Laurier signs toward the bottom of their “to-do” list.

“The Science building updates will cost $5 million to update to keep the fumehoods working, heating and cooling, and making sure the roof doesn’t leak. It’s a bigger priority and those are some of the bigger competing projects for us, so we have to make those decisions,” Nower explained.

Updating signs around campus is about more than just aesthetics, Nower noted. Signage standards are also shared with emergency response teams to improve ease in navigation around campus.

“It’s still important. It’s just a matter of finding an appropriate time to make these changes a reality.”

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