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Sources: Bernard Pitts, 785-532-6591,;
and Todd Holmberg, 785-421-6425,
Images available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University is proceeding with plans for a message board that will display static information about university-related activities and services.

The LED sign, to be placed south of the new K-State parking garage, also will be part of campus safety efforts. In the event of an emergency, it will be used to provide essential information to the campus and community.

"We will use the sign in a responsible fashion and be sensitive to safety issues," said Kirk Schulz, K-State president.

Although approval from the city of Manhattan is not needed for K-State to have the message board, university officials will work with the city to ensure that it meets the intent of all applicable city regulations, including requirements that such signs not be a distraction and that they be aesthetically pleasing.

The message board's two-sided LED display will be 4 feet tall and 10 feet wide. The Ebert Mayo Design Group designed the base for the sign to mirror the aesthetics of the campus, using the same limestone as on the parking garage and K-State Alumni Center. The sign will be placed back from the current limestone wall that runs parallel to Anderson Avenue and will be visible from both the east and west sides of the street.

"The message board will display only brief, static messages; it will not display any moving video," said Bernard Pitts, assistant vice president for student life and executive director of the K-State Student Union. "It also will not be used for off-campus commercial advertisements."

The message board project is being funded 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.

The project, which was originally proposed in spring 2009, will be re-bid.

Members of the sponsoring consortium said the message board will help the university in fulfilling its mission.

"McCain Auditorium is integral to the university's core mission of engagement and discovering knowledge by being a cultural focal point of live performing arts experiences that connect the entire community," said Todd Holmberg, executive director of the auditorium."Communicating our programs to the public and university on Anderson Avenue is a tremendous opportunity to improve the quality of life of everyone we serve."

The K-State Student Union has long been an important resource for both the campus and Manhattan community, so ensuring its success is important, Pitts said.

"Visibility is critical to the success of the K-State Student Union," he said. "The message board is a way to promote the many programs and services hosted by the K-State Student Union and at K-State -- most of which can be used and enjoyed by the campus and the community."

Pitts said K-State's message board will be similar to such signs already in use at other universities, including Iowa State, Pittsburg State and Montana State.