Fresno State entrances get facelift starting in summer

The Fresno BeeMay 12, 2013 

Fresno State's main entrance will get a ceremonial makeover starting this summer, as new gateways and signs sprout around the campus in the first phase of the university's "wayfinding" project.

Over the summer and fall, Maple Drive -- the campus' main entryway -- will get a makeover with a 22-foot by 6-foot granite and steel monument installed on the northwest corner and a 25-foot tall sprout sculpture across the street at the northeast corner.

The renovations to the main gateway are part of the project's first phase, while changes to other entrances (Shaw and Woodrow, Shaw and Cedar, Cedar and Bulldog Lane, Barstow and Chestnut) are slated to start after the fall, project manager Tom Gaffery said.

The administrative project coordinator said the three-phase project will update the Fresno State campus and farm with a more uniform look that will be modeled on the Table Mountain Rancheria Tower at the Henry Madden Library, with its distinctive architecture.

The new campus signage "is a project that we always knew we were going to start after the library was finished, because the elliptical basket shape is a key wayfinding landmark on campus," he said.

The project's entire cost is $2.1 million and is covered through a $10 million donation from the Table Mountain Rancheria, Gaffery said.

Also in phase one are changes to parking and pedestrian signs throughout the campus to make visitors feel more welcome, he said.

Detailed signs will be installed at parking lot entrances and pedestrian signs and gathering points will be more distinguishable on campus.

Gaffery and 10 other university officials submitted a proposal for the wayfinding project in December 2011.

The committee contracted with design firm IDA of Los Angeles, creator of the University of Southern California's wayfinding master plan, according to its website.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6165 or amoreno@fresnobee.com.

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