Campus Connection: Last one out, hit the lights

Over the years, Gannon University has bettered its campus one project at a time, and now, the installation of 104 LED light posts surrounding campus has made the area a little brighter.

Keith Taylor, Ph.D., finally announced the 18-square-block project on Thursday at a press conference.

Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott, Vice President for Finance and Administration Linda Wagner, current Student Government Association President Ange Coustillac and former SGA President Landis Erwin were also in attendance.

Taylor labeled Gannon’s $1.1 million investment into the lighting project as “global citizenship.”

Each light head is 165 watts of energy – which is not a lot – but the LED lights cut down light pollution, while increasing light for pedestrians.

Gary Garnic, Vice President of Maintenance, thinks the LED light bulb is a good idea when it comes to how long a bulb can last.

In the past four months, maintenance crews have installed 104 light posts stretching east to west from Peach to Chestnut streets and north to south from West Third to West Eighth streets.

Garnic is all in favor for the LED lights, but they are just now evolving into something bigger.

Sinnott said he is very pleased with all of the things that Gannon has done and has plans to do for the community.

“This particular project will help walk-ability of these neighborhoods, safety for the students and just create an overall neighborhood atmosphere,” Sinnott said.

The lighting project was driven by Coustillac, a senior legal studies major, and Erwin, a 2012 graduate currently enrolled in Gannon’s business administration master’s program.

For any campus project initiated by SGA, Erwin said the purpose is to serve the needs of the student community.

According to Taylor, the university’s “Believe in the Possibilities” statement has come alive in this project

“It is evident that the future of the university and city are bond together.” Taylor said.

SGA considered every corner, both on campus and off, that are nearby student living quarters and parking garages in order to decide the optimal locations to place the new lamp posts.

“It truly enhances our campus and as an urban campus, it improves our neighborhood as a whole,” Erwin said. “And anything we do here affects our surrounding area, so hopefully this continues to bring a positive outlook on Gannon.”

Brooke Bateman, a sophomore occupational therapy major, said she really likes the idea of light posts.

“This gives students more of a protective feeling when they are walking around campus at night, especially during the winter when it gets darker faster,” Bateman said.

The light posts are not the only LED lights Gannon has on campus, Garnic said. Last year, LED lights were installed in Room 104 of the Zurn Science Center.

Since LED lights last longer, the changing of light bulbs will make it easier on maintenance.