November 29, 2021

College plans ‘light work’

SUNY Cortland to install new LEDs as part of $7M project

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Crews work Monday near SUNY Cortland’s Cornish Hall. Work to install new LED light posts on campus will last through the summer and perhaps into next spring.

By the end of spring 2022, or in a best case scenario, by the end of next fall, the SUNY Cortland campus will shine a little brighter with the installation of new LED lights.

The $7 million project is in the first phase of replacing the old lamps with new, more energy efficient lights and better placed light posts, said Zach Newswanger, the associate vice president for facilities management.

Phase 1 will replace lights on the northern part of campus near Brockway, DeGroat and Cheney halls down to Neubig Hall, he said Monday. Phase 2 will replace lights from Neubig to Broadway Street and Phase 3 will replace lights from Broadway to Route 281.

The lights as well will be placed in less obstructed positions from trees, he said.

“It just makes the ease of getting around better and makes students, faculty and staff more comfortable getting around in the evening,” Newswanger said.

In total, 467 new fixtures will be installed, according to the college’s website. Additionally, 27 new blue light emergency phones will be installed around campus to replace old ones.

Newswanger said work likely won’t have a large effect on people getting around campus.

Students and staff are notified where and when work will take place.

Signage and construction fencing will help alert residents walking through campus of work, said Fred Pierce, the director of the college’s communications office.

News releases will also be sent to news media outlets informing the public of work going on.

The project is funded through the SUNY Construction Fund, which is funded through the state.

Sidewalk replacement work that began in April, including between Dowd Fine Arts Center and Moffett Center, is also finishing up, Newswanger said.

Additionally, a $6.5 million project to renovate the second and third floors of the Miller Building will also begin around the middle or end of August, Newswanger said.

That work, which will also be funded through the Construction Fund, will likely last until the summer of 2022.

Signs requiring mask wearing around campus will be taken down Wednesday, Newswanger said.

The college won’t require people to wear masks outside when walking through campus — though Newswanger suggested people walking across campus maskless should be vaccinated — but said that until it gets further guidance, mask wearing will still be required inside buildings.