'Gateways' Getting a New Look
Sarah R. Buccholz

August 25, 2000

The signage at the entrances to the campus has been redesigned for the upcoming school year. The three existing gateway signs on the north, west and east entrances will sport a simpler, easier-to-read look, and a fourth gateway sign is being built on the south side at the northeast corner of University Drive and Amity Street.

"The purpose of changing the signs is to put the UMass logo on them and to light the signs," said Bruce Thomas, a landscape architect in Facilities Planning. "The new signs will say only two things: 'Visitors Center' or 'Campus Center and Parking Garage' or both. They were too hard to read at 40 miles per hour. If we can get you to the Visitors Center, you can get anywhere else.

"As well as lighting them, we are going to add perennial plants, trees, and shrubs. The idea is to create a landscape treatment for when the students are here. We're looking for things that are attractive when school is in session.

"Because we are reducing the amount of information on the gateway signs, we are adding new ancillary signs at key intersections to help people get to the major venues and destinations, such as Bowker Auditorium, the Fine Arts Center, Admissions, and the Mullins Center."

Thomas said the ancillary signs should be in place before classes begin and that, except for some detailing and lighting fixtures, the gateway signs will be done then, too.

"Most of the funding, $110,000, comes from the President's Reserve Fund," he said. "But Kay Scanlan's office is contributing some, too."

"Communications and Marketing became involved with this project because we consider campus signage an important public relations issue," said Scanlan, who is interim assistant vice chancellor for that department. "Anything we can do to make the campus easier to negotiate and more visitor-friendly is definitely a plus."