New lighting to be added to campus areas to improve safety

Jackson French

WKU will be a more luminous place during the next school year.

Bryan Russell, director of Planning, Design and Construction, said his department plans to add more light fixtures to the area between the Colonnade and the Fine Arts Center and revamp the lighting along Normal Street and State Street over the summer.

The Student Government Association had a part in this as well.

“Every year, we do a campus walk with the SGA and there was an area of interest for improving the lighting,” Russell said.

For this campus walk, Russell said the group meets around 7 or 7:30 p.m. and waits for the lighting to come on on campus.

“And then we literally, as a group, walk the entire main campus, a perimeter walk and an interior walk, looking at areas that could be improved,” he said.

Elizabethtown sophomore Mallory Chaney, chair of SGA’s Campus Improvements Committee, coordinated the walk.

“It was us and then we had some Western officials that we invited to come out and help us go through and look at things that needed to be fixed,” she said.

Russell said PDC’s plans to put lights between FAC and the Colonnade were made after last year’s walk.

“We have a project based upon that walk that we’ll be implementing first of May, to add some lighting in that area to make it a more brighter space,” he said.

On this year’s campus walk, which took place on April 2, it was decided that the walkway between the Music Rehearsal Hall and FAC could also use more light.

Russell said he wants to add lights to this area over the summer, though the decision to do so has not been reached.

“That little corridor there now is a little darker than I think what you would say is comfortable,” he said. “It would be nice to have a few lights there.”

Chaney said SGA and PDC found nothing else that needed improvements during the walk, except for a few lights that had gone out.

“We didn’t find a whole lot that actually needed to be improved just because our officials are really on top of it,” she said.

Russell said in addition to building lights between FAC and the Colonnade, PDC will also improve the lighting along State Street and Normal Street over the summer.

He said there are currently 18 cobra head lights, which are adequate for traffic, along that stretch of road, but PDC plans to replace them over the summer with 38 Holophane Washington-style lights, which Russell said are brighter and better suited for pedestrians.

“Now that we own that section of roadway, we’re going to upgrade that area to the new campus standard,” Russell said.

“We’ve got about 7,000 more students now that are on campus so we needed to improve the walkways of that hillside.”

Russell said the plans to improve the lighting near the colonnade and along State Street and Normal Street have already been finalized and funded.

He said the construction of the new lights along State and Normal Street and near the Colonnade will be finished by the start of the next school year and that he hopes light fixtures will also be added to the walkway between FAC and the Music Rehearsal Hall.