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Campus welcome sign gets upgraded
By Grant Merritt
According to W. Steve Martin, assistant vice chancellor of Business A f f a i r s / F a c i l i t i e s Management, the new sign cost an estimated $200,000 to build and install. Martin said that the sign was not paid for by student fees or tuition. Non-state funding from two fiscal years made the new sign possible. The LCD screen was purchased last summer, and the frame was purchased soon after. With the help of a local contractor, the frame was built separately, and the bright LCD screen was installed later. The frame and the LCD screen cost about $100,000 each.
According to Scott Bigelow, an information and communication specialist of the University and Community Relations department, the old sign was terribly outdated and had numerous permanent damages. Bigelow said that the old sign was hard to maintain with constant light bulb replacements and out-of-date computer software. The old sign was more than 10 years old and suffered constant abuse from the elements.
Bigelow said that the new sign is fully operational daily during the hours of 5 a.m. through 11 p.m. to conserve electricity and cut costs. He said the new sign's intent is to inform new and current students, as well as the town of Pembroke, of the many events on campus.
Some of the features of the new sign include the ability to show video footage in color on the large, bright LCD screen on the front and back. It has the same screen resolution as the new sign in front of the Givens Performing Arts Center. The new sign is controlled by Bigelow in the University and Community Relations department in Jacobs Hall, Suite A. He uses a new program called WatchFire in which he can control the text, graphics and length of time to display the information.
The sign is also capable of displaying color graphics and text.