Master plan illuminates changes to campus lighting

By Jeffrey Pallak

The Laramie County Community College campus master plan, which the LCCC Board of Trustees will vote to approve on Oct. 19, includes changes to improve outdoor lighting across campus.

According to the draft of the master plan presented to the college staff on Aug. 17 and the trustees on Aug. 31 and again on Aug. 7, areas around campus to be upgraded include the entrances to campus, the outside perimeter of campus, parking lots, the pedestrian walkway in the center of campus and the campus north road.

Campus Lighting Map

Let there be light: This composite image, comprised of artist renditions included in the master plan draft, shows the proposed locations of the new campus lighting and how it will illuminate the campus. Original artwork courtesy. Composite by Jeffrey Pallak

Safety, efficiency drive changes in lighting

LCCC’s interim president, Dr. Miles LaRowe, and LCCC’s vice president of administration and finance, Carol Hoglund, explained that changes have been proposed to increase safety on campus and make the lighting on campus more energy efficient. LaRowe said feedback from students was also part of the process in drafting the lighting improvements into the plan.

The plan not only includes new lighting fixtures to be installed, but also upgrading the fixtures that are already in place across campus. This is because much of the exterior lighting on campus is old and inefficient.

“We are looking for a more energy-efficient way to light the campus,” Hoglund said. “Lighting standards have changed tremendously since we put in the current lighting that we have, so we will be improving the fixtures themselves.”

LaRowe said much of the lighting on campus has been in place since 1970.

“You are looking at 40-year-old fixtures,” LaRowe said, “and, obviously, exterior lighting has come a long way since then.”

Plan creates light where there is none

As for the north road of campus, the master plan includes new athletic facilities and parking north of the existing campus road as well as new buildings on the south side of the road including future upgrades to student services, a new University of Wyoming outreach building and a fine and performing arts center. Campus lighting will need to be strengthened on the north campus road to accommodate these new facilities.

“We’re developing the north side of campus,” Hoglund explained, “and making this campus road a campus street.”

Safety concerns on campus are also driving the need for better lighting, and the college has already taken some measures to strengthen lighting on campus.

“We were shutting the lights off as an energy conservation measure at midnight, and we are not doing that now,” Hoglund said. “We will keep the lights lit. Safety is now overweighing the energy concerns from before.”

Changes to the lighting on campus will likely not take place during the 2011–2012 academic year.

“There will be some design that needs to take place,” Hoglund said, “so actual lights changing probably won’t be till next summer.”

LaRowe explained while the decision to move forward would be driven by the LCCC Board of Trustees, the changes to the lighting will probably start near the LCCC residence halls, and upgrades would fan out from there because of the infrastructure needs of the new lighting.

Master Plan News