Augusta Sign Company has been busy upgrading signs at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA. Over the last several years I have helped with interior sign upgrades at University Commons Building, and Suter Science Center, along with a complete exterior wayfinding sign replacement! It has been very interesting and rewarding to see the new signage come to life on campus over the last several years.
The EMU marketing department has made it easy to keep the school’s branding consistent across campus, and the facilities management department has helped with coordinating all the projects and purchasing the signs if new construction-related. Since I am a small, one man shop with an occasional helper, working with EMU on breaking these larger projects into phases really helped things stay on target over the past two years. It all started with the Suter Science Center. Phase 1 was the first floor which began mid-summer 2021, leading to Phase 2, the second floor right before fall classes resumed. Then there was the high end donor wall for the final dedication later in October. (See previous blog about the donor wall project.)
As soon as that project was off the list, we began planning the next project: rebranding the signs at the 2-story University Commons building. This project was extremely interesting as it included a very large EMU mascot “selfie wall”, and track wall graphics that spanned the radius of the indoor track that covered six large walls. At the same time, we planned out changing out all the existing exterior directional signs and cleaning all existing post structures. The exteriors were the first two phases; then the main entrace area of the first floor of Commons. Then the rest of the first floor was Phase 4. The track wall graphics were Phase 5, and the rest of the second floor including a neat wood sign for the Common Grounds coffee shop was the final phase. I was busy on these projects from early February through October, 2022.
It was another challenging but successful project. What did it all cost, you might ask? All the design work for every project was done by the EMU marketing department so that part was covered by the college staff budget, otherwise the design portion for all the signage would cost well over $5,000. The cost of materials and labor to fabricate and install all the signs ranged from $5,000-$25,000 per phase, depending on the amount of work involved. The Track Wall Graphics Phase was the most expensive and some of the partial floor phases were the least expensive. Actually part of the exterior signage project is still in progress, awaiting permitting from the city. The infamous 2022 materials shortages affected the delivery of aluminum extrusion for part of the exterior signage. What usually took three weeks to procure took six months! Fortunately for my sign company, because projects were staggered over years, I was mostly able to get the materials for the pricing I quoted EMU.
It looks like 2023 may be the year for the EMU Campus Center Sign Upgrades! I am much looking forward to more work on campus, and have developed a great working relationship with this group of customers! God is very good; yes, very good!
Mark Hackley owns and operates Augusta Sign Company in Augusta County, VA. Contact: 540-943-9818