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PC James Gallagher

Making it happen: A bright future for campus spaces

Making it happen_colorStudents may have been so thrilled to finally see the pond filled up with water that they may not have paid much attention to the new streetlights that have gone up along the freshly paved paths. Over the past few months, the new lamps have been cropping up around campus. They can also be found near the quad outside Math/Psych, as well as throughout the Hillside apartments, where they are standing but unlit.

“I haven’t noticed them because they aren’t turned on and I’m not sure why,” said Hanan Guzman, a junior studying psychology. “They look pretty, though.”

To illuminate our readers on the plans behind the new campus lighting, The Retriever reached out to Joseph Rexing, director of facilities management. Rexing is one of the driving forces behind the new lighting projects.

“The decision to replace the site lighting throughout campus was based on improving campus safety,” said Rexing. “Large site projects like the new campus entrance, West Hill Apartment renovation and the Storm Water Management Facility [library pond] renovation provided UMBC with the opportunity to apply new technologies to better address night lighting on a large scale.”

The new lights will provide a host of benefits, including the aforementioned safety improvements. The new lighting “maintains more consistent light levels along the pedestrian and vehicular paths around campus,” said Rexing. “[The lighting also] produces more usable lumens with greater energy efficiency,” he said.

Overall, the new streetlights provide aesthetic and practical improvements that will make the campus a better place at night. “The new lights with their superior optics, efficiency and elevated lumen output improves the nighttime environment on campus,” said Rexing.

There is no plan in place to completely overhaul all of the lighting on campus, but any future construction will include the lighting upgrades. Rexing said, “This lighting system will be employed at the new Event Center site and the future Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building site as well. All future renewal projects will adopt these new technologies for outdoor environmental lighting.”

It may be a small detail, but it’s a finishing touch to campus that makes it more student-friendly. They will be spreading throughout campus gradually, as part of future construction projects. “As existing older technology fixtures require replacement the new fixtures will be employed,” said Rexing.

Thanks to Rexing and his colleagues, campus will continue to be safe and welcoming at night. Not just a visual improvement, the new lighting is making UMBC shine, one lamp at a time.