Model Remodel Underway: Liberty Staple Gets A Redesign To Liven Up The Mountain

From students walking on the academic lawn to a family hiking amid the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Liberty Monogram has served as an iconic marker for the university for more than a decade. Under the instruction of President Jerry Prevo, the monogram is currently experiencing a complete identity change, and the project is slated to be finished before students return for the Spring 2022 semester, barring weather complications.

In the summer of 2007, the construction of the monogram wrapped up. Thousands of pounds of white stone had been arranged on the side of the mountain, with shrubs and red brick chips creating  the familiar brown “LU.”

Several issues arose over time — the plants had to be regularly maintained, the white stone became dirty and the font and colors of the monogram did not match the school’s branding. According to Vice President of Major Construction Daniel Deter, Prevo said that “the monogram looks old, it looks dated. It’s showing the test of time.”

One of Prevo’s focuses is to create a beautiful campus for students, and the revitalization of the monogram is an important step in that process.

When LU construction crews were first assigned the project, they looked to pressure wash the existing stone and clean up the shrubbery, but they quickly realized a better alternative existed. 

“If we’re going to touch it and we’re going try to freshen it up, let’s make it right,” said Deter. 

Rather than maintaining the current landscaping, the construction team stripped all the plants from the monogram and added more rock. The team is using concrete stain, a paint-like substance, to change the old, brown colored logo to Liberty’s classic red, white and blue colors. The logo has been reshaped by civil engineers brought in to match the actual Liberty logo.

Another addition to the monogram will be the inclusion of RGB lighting. The mountainside currently has white lights, but with the new installation, the monogram will be able to change colors based on seasons, holidays and other factors. 

“Just like we have colors on the tower, we’ll be able to have colors on the monogram,” said Deter. 

The project began after the homecoming weekend on Oct. 8-9, as the university wanted visitors to see the original monogram one last time before reconstruction began.

Monogram Road will be closed for the duration of the project. The university is uncertain if the trail will open back up to vehicular traffic after its completion due to safety concerns.

Quigg is the digital media producer.

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