Posted at 11 p.m., Nov. 6, 2013

Trustees navigate path to better signage

Emergency crews have difficulty finding accident site

Laramie County Community College has a plan to show the way to students and community alike.

In an effort to provide clear and concise wayfinding for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, George Lim and Angela Serravo of Tangram Design LLC, based in Denver, Colo., presented a conceptual plan via phone for new campus signage to the LCCC Board of Trustees Nov. 6. Included were ideas to improve direction, identification and informational signs.

The need for wayfinding was reinforced by recent incidents in which emergency response crews communicated difficulty finding the site of accidents. Although the Tangram associates reported this would be a top priority, they would not, if given approval by the board, be able to provide a solution until, at the earliest, spring.

“Emergency traffic is not being sidelined. We are working on a temporary means of helping the emergency and security crews with better ways of identifying routes,” LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer assured the board.

As the “Building Forward” project eschews in more and more modern architecture mixed among the predominant pre-cast ‘70s-style buildings, the need grows for more and better means of navigating the campus maze.

A variety of materials have been proposed for signage resources including wooden posts, metal grating and industrial-grade steel. These ingredients have been selected for their resilience and representation of the many facets of life in Wyoming. Cost, durability and a correlation with Cheyenne’s heritage all will play major roles in the final decision on the appearance of the way finding measures.

With the ever-present surge forward, Tangram took into careful consideration the college’s need for interchangeable messages. Mall signage would be designed to integrate with lighting fixtures to minimize confusion. The design company pitched a heavy integration of college colors into the wayfinding as a means to set off the monotonous tones of LCCC’s campus.

Lim and Serravo presented four concepts to the trustees, each encompassing specific attributes that “unified the college’s iconic presence in Cheyenne.”

In accordance with Cheyenne’s honorary title of the nation’s rodeo capital, backed by the town’s strong railroad presence, the first concept was of an angular nature. The signage would be constructed of industrial materials bolstered by the heavy presence of decorative bolts to highlight the borders. Angle iron and I-beams would make up the meat of the navigational directories.

The second concept honed in on the area’s deep history in the railroad industry. The signs would take on a repetitive image similar to train tracks. Included would be a prominent monument sign that would serve as a directional marker for vehicles.

Wyoming’s numerous and distinguished ranch entrances fueled Tangram’s third idea. Sturdy wooden posts supporting metal panels hung on grating to accommodate wind force concerns were the foundation of that concept.

A fourth pitch presented a futuristic image, taking inspiration from airplane wings and turbine blades of the college’s wind energy program, providing a more “contemporary” look to set off the college’s goals for expanding the campus. Simple materials, lighting options and curved panels set this design apart from the primarily industrial concepts previously presented.

Upon reviewing Tangram’s ideas board, trustee Dr. Kevin Kilty expressed concerns about the durable nature of the signage. “The wind here in Wyoming goes all the way to the ground,” he remarked.

The Tangram team assured it had constructed signage in some of the windiest cities in the nation and felt confident its fabrication team was adequately equipped for the task.

College Drive signage proposal presented

In another presentation on the campus exterior, Sallie Means, of Cheyenne’s By Architectural Means, offered a concept on improving the west and east entrances—or gateways—to the campus. The concern was those traveling 50 mph on College Drive have difficulty discerning where to turn into campus.

The tentative timeline for the campus gateway project would be letting bids on Dec. 19; awarding a contract on Jan. 6; starting construction in April and finishing by July 1.

Addressing the west entrance first, Means explained any design must contend with the infrastructure buried there such as a major water main and gas lines. “The utility company got here first,” she noted.

In addition, the two current light poles are not situated in the best location for a gateway. An alternate bid on relocating the lights would determine whether moving them would be economically feasible.

Her proposal showed one wall of stone—similar to the Health Science Building—on both sides of the entrance to the Tom Bauman Loop, each with three walls staggered in height and the last one capped with a structured “monument arm” from which the colored LCCC logo cast in possibly metal would suspend. She explained such a design would add “needed color and height” as well as provide “some stature” to the gateway entrances.

Massive landscaping of more layered evergreens to complement the current evergreens and of perennials for a color accent would increase the presence of the gateway entrances. Irrigation would be run to the plantings.

Means said the east entrance does have a gas line but would not present as much of an issue.

In other business,

Previous board coverage:

Emergency medical training for campus on the way

Professional development focus for Center for Teaching and Learning