Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Liberty’s roads given new identity

New Names to Navigate — Names of campus roads have been changed to help emergency vehicles navigate the campus with ease.

Liberty University’s 1971 University Blvd. address has for years been an all-encompassing label for buildings across campus, leaving visitors and emergency personnel to wonder exactly where they are.

The Liberty University Police Department (LUPD) has been negotiating with town officials to change road names across Liberty University’s campus to help visitors and emergency vehicles navigate more easily.

Col. Richard Hinkley has become concerned for those who need to find their way to a specific campus location but do not know the layout.

“Right now when you pull on campus, how do you know you’re here?” Hinkley said. “There are some signs, but we’re trying to make getting from point A to point B a lot easier.”

Over the past months, the LUPD has been working with financial analyst Richard Martin and Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services Bryan Evans to change 11 road names and add eight other names for roads that up to this point have remained nameless across campus.

“We are working, not just in road signs but also parking lots, on a major signage and way finding process,” Hinkley said.

LUPD is in the process of putting up the new signs, some wearing familiar Liberty names.

Dr. Elmer Towns, co-founder of Liberty University and Dean of the School of Religion, has been recognized through the new Towns Court which extends from the entrance to Campus East’s 300 dorms at the Club House to the intersection at the top of the hill.

Other road names honoring individuals include Marie Green Drive who, along with her husband, donated the Campus North academic building and Askew Court, named for Neal Askew, a longtime member of the board of trustees.

“There are a few (road names) that I wish we didn’t have to lose, like Furnace Court near the Vines Center, which was kind of neat because we used to call it the furnace,” Hinkley said. “I think most students call it by ‘the road that leads you to…,’ so that’s what this (road change) will continue to do.”

Road names have been changed to better match the setting and to indicate which road leads where. The new Reber Thomas Road, formerly Liberty Lane will lead to the Reber Thomas Dining Hall, the Vines Center Court will connect to the Vines Center, and DeMoss Drive, formerly Eagle Run, to DeMoss Hall.

Hinkley hopes road names will help eliminate confusion as well as bring a smile to students’ faces.

“I think the kids will love the new road names, especially the one named after Dr. Towns. I think students will be proud to live on Towns Court,” Hinkley said.

Although LUPD cares about helping visitors find their way around, their main concern is the health and safety of Liberty’s students.

“There’s the emergency response that I’m worried about,” Hinkley said. “Updating emergency plans is always a big thing that we are working on. Anything to do with safety we try to update as best as we can.”

In an emergency situation, it is important for emergency crews to know where they need to go.

“By having specific street names, we can tell them to come to this location and assist. It would just help them get there,” Hinkley said.

The road change project is near completion. Students should be noticing new signs across campus. The Liberty University Police Department can be contacted at LUPD@liberty.edu or on their non-emergency phone number at 434-592-7641.

Jennings is a feature reporter.

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