K-State's dual-sided LED screen message board, located south of the K-State parking garage, is now in operation.
Bernard Pitts, assistant vice president for student life and executive director of the K-State Student Union, said the 4 feet by 10 feet LED sign will display static information about university-related activities and services as well as provide essential information to the campus and community during an emergency. University departments and organizations may have messages displayed. A complete list of procedures and policies has been prepared for standardization to regulate message appearance and content.
University officials have consulted with Manhattan city officials to ensure that the message board meets the intent of applicable city ordinances.
"We have shared our plans with the city administration and the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce executive board. We want to do this right and make sure we are good neighbors as we move forward," said Craig Johnson, assistant director of the K-State Student Union.
The Ebert-Mayo Design Group, the firm that designed the K-State parking garage, was chosen to design the base structure of the message board. The same limestone used on the parking garage and the K-State Alumni Center was used. The LED unit is manufactured by Daktronics.
"We find ourselves in the era of communications, and the LED is just one of the mediums available to convey our messages," Pitts said. "The message board concept originated from the loss of street presence for the K-State Student Union with the construction of the parking garage. With this new visibility, we can provide marketing opportunities for university events and services that the public may find of interest."
"We thought it was a tremendous value from a communication standpoint," said Jeff Morris, K-State vice president for communications and marketing. "It's allowing us to take all of the messages and put them in one place and will allow us to communicate more effectively to the campus and to the community."
The message board has been reviewed by the K-State campus planning and development committee and endorsed by the president's cabinet. Funding was made possible by a consortium of university entities, including the K-State Alumni Association, Kansas State University Foundation, K-State Student Union, McCain Auditorium, K-State Student Life and the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.
"We are looking forward to having another venue to get information out to the public about what is happening at the museum. I think it will be a good way to reach a lot of people in the community and to remind them that we're here," said Martha Scott, administrative officer of the Beach Museum of Art.The K-State message board policies and request forms are available online at http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/messagebd.html.