Finding Your Way at Ohio State

Getting around campus just got a lot easier thanks to completion of a multi-million dollar campus wayfinding project, led by Facilities Operations and Development (FOD) to add and improve signs on campus roadways and garages and on Interstates 70 and 71 and State Route 315. 

“In today’s day and age, wayfinding signs can be an afterthought,” said Steve Malone, university signage coordinator. “But on a college campus that is home to more than 100,000 students, faculty, staff and visitors, this initiative was designed to help folks navigate a campus that continues to change and grow.”

“We started doing value engineering to maximize the money that we were allocated,” Malone said. “We put together a bid package for the highway systems, another for three wayfinding packages for on and off campus and a third for our parking garages.” As a result, Ohio State used savings to fund campus building identification signs. 

In all, FOD put up several hundred signs, including every building ID sign and signage for all 15 garages, all digitally tracked by Planning and Real Estate’s Global Information System (GIS).

Malone added that, to cut down on confusion, all buildings have just one sign at the front door, instead of multiple signs. The university also has upgraded ADA accessible markings to direct users to the ADA entrances.

Ongoing maintenance includes annual inspections and sign condition reports to ensure the university’s initial investment is maximized.

“It’s all about making the university a better place and helping people find their way to class, work, an event or appointment,” Malone said. 

The Ohio State Board of Trustees approved the $5 million multi-year project in 2011 after a thorough audit determined improvements were needed. The initiative is in keeping with Dr. Drake’s Time and Change Strategic Plan to enhance operational excellence and provide responsible resource stewardship.