Building signs across the Tampa campus are being replaced and refurbished as a way to make them more legible for pedestrians and drivers to identify.
The building identification monuments are being refurbished by the In-House Grounds Team with a fresh coat of USF green paint and new vinyl lettering, according to Aaron Nichols, associate director of communications of the Office of the Vice President for Administrative Services.
The university began removing the signs Oct. 6 and will continue throughout the semester.
The project is being completed in three phases, starting at the east side of campus and going clockwise to the northwest side. In total, all 53 monuments will be refurbished.
“We did three signs prior … just to get the paint colors right and pick the right type of vinyl and make sure all the stakeholders involved are OK with what we’re doing,” said Nichols.
The refurbishment of each monument includes sandblasting, repainting with a sand color and USF green vehicle paint for long-lasting effects, putting on new vinyl lettering with a new font and a reflective vinyl, which will help drivers find buildings at night.
“They’re going to be more legible … since they’re a form of vehicular wayfinding, it’s going to be easier to see when people are driving at night,” said Nichols.
“[The font] makes more sense to use for vehicular wayfinding and wayfinding in general.”
After the Building Identification Monument project is finished, Nichols hopes the Grounds Team will be able to refurbish other signs around campus, such as the secondary vehicular monuments, which shows where dorms and other buildings are on campus — if it is granted funding for it.
The budget for refurbishing the monuments comes from the maintenance budget for grounds as this is a typical maintenance event that occurs, but additional funds will be needed for the secondary vehicular monuments and any other larger projects.
Funding required for the project was not announced by the time of publication.
Nichols said the university evaluates those signs every few years once they start to lose paint and wear down. The Grounds Team also works on other projects to keep the campus unified and appealing to the community and visitors, including mowing and maintaining the flower beds across campuses as well as updating university signage.
“Probably about a year and a half ago, we did the entrance and corner monuments. We have the perimeter enhancement project, the fence sits around the campus and the iconic Bull U and all of that just works to build a sense of place,” said Nichols.
The first step of refurbishing each building identification monument is taking them off their cement post. The metal top comes apart in pieces, which makes for easy removal and transfer, according to Nichols.
“There’s three or four bolts anchors that come up out of the concrete and the metal part of the signs kind of break down,” he said.
“They’re screwed together, or riveted together. After you take off the end caps, the sides, you can get in, and not just on those anchors, there’s some nuts that go down on those anchors, and they just remove those and lift the whole assembly off.”
Removing the metal tops from their posts allows the team to take the metal part back to a central location and complete the work without interrupting pedestrian traffic where the sign is located.
Nichols said the project will bring another look to campus and make buildings more accessible day and night.
“This effort will bring them [the monuments] in line with our visual identity standards,” said Nichols.