FMCC eyes plan for more campus signs

JOHNSTOWN – Finding certain venues or parking lots can be difficult for anyone visiting Fulton-Montgomery Community College for the first time.

College officials are looking to address that problem within the 2015 Capital Project.

The Board of Trustees were given a presentation on potential wayfinding signage for vehicular and pedestrian traffic at the meeting on Thursday night, although they had already approved the signage within the 2012-18 Master Plan.

The college has been working on developing signs with Innerface Architectural Signage, Inc. that will be placed throughout the campus to provide directions to buildings and venues for those not familiar with the campus.

FMCC currently has a building directory along the front entrance off Route 67, but often when students or visitors come onto the campus for the first time, they find it difficult to navigate because of the lack of signs, President Dustin Swanger said.

Swanger said the contractors for the company intentionally came to the campus without any knowledge of the layout or design to figure out what they could find based on the existing system.

“They didn’t want us to show them around,” Swanger said. “They wanted to come on campus and see what they could find, which wasn’t much.”

The college plans to have about 75 signs replaced or installed across the entire campus as part of the 2015 Capital Project.

The exterior signs would identify the general direction of different buildings or parking lots, while the interior signs within the buildings would identify where particular departments or venues are located, officials said.

Josh Fleming the director of facilities, said the campus currently has a variety of existing signage consisting of multiple generations, but much of it is outdated and in poor shape.

According to meeting documents, the anticipated cost of the project is about $196,300, although the college would also like to include the installation of LED lighting on campus, which would add about $25,000 to the total.

The quad needs to be updated for safety after sunset because the existing lighting was originally designed for aesthetics rather than for the practical safety concerns of today, Swanger said.

College officials said including both projects within the 2015 Capital Project is the ideal route for implementation, but phasing them in over time could also be a possibility.

Trustee John Thomas asked if the college would plan to use the same signage when the college town begins to move forward and officials said the same general theme and design would be used although that funding isn’t within this capital project.

If the project is approved as a Capital project the State would provide 50 percent fundingt, while the other half would require contributions from each of the two sponsoring counties.

Swanger said the next step will be pitching the plan to the two sponsoring counties before the college ultimately decides which route of funding it will pursue.