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CMU gateway arch artist rendering

CMU makes a grand entrance

Pedestrian archway turns Broomfield crossing into a campus landmark

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston

​There's a new landmark coming to campus — one that will stand 21 feet high, 32 feet wide and feature an archway emblazoned with the Central Michigan University name.

And when it's complete in August you'll be able to walk right through it.

CMU's pedestrian gateway now under construction will be a focal point located where one of campus' main walking routes crosses Broomfield Road, near Celani and Thorpe residence halls on the north side and the John G. Kulhavi Events Center to the south.

"CMU is a very walkable campus," said Jonathan Webb, CMU associate vice president for facilities management. "The archway will serve as a pedestrian entrance to the vicinity of the residence halls and the academic heart of campus."

Wowing and 'wayfinding'

The structure's metal arch will span 20 feet between two brick-and-limestone pillars, each six feet wide at the base. The bottom edge of the arch will be 17 feet from the ground at its highest point, and the north and south sides of the top of each pillar will feature the university seal on metal plaques two-and-a-half feet in diameter.

It's a key piece of the university's 2014 Campus Identity Plan to enhance the functionality and character of campus, developed with input from more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff and community members.

Also part of the plan are new building and directional signs — "wayfinding" in planner-speak — including the two prominent brick marquee signs erected in 2016 along Mission Street at Bellows Street and West Campus Drive, at the southeast and northeast corners of campus.


New wayfinding signs on campus feature angled limestone bases.

More than 30 new signs are being installed this summer in phase two of a six-phase wayfinding plan.

The building identification signs now being replaced date back to the late 1970s and 1980s, said facilities management Project Manager Andy Reihl.

This summer's wayfinding sign installation won't detour cars or pedestrians on campus, but the archway work will reroute walkers wanting to cross Broomfield to marked crossings at South Washington Street or near Saxe Hall.

Archway construction is scheduled to wrap up Aug. 10. By the time students return for fall semester, it should be one more prime location for campus selfies.

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