U.Va. tests three new kiosks
Pollution, damage to pillars and walls spur designs
Photo by Dan Addison
|Student Lauren Jones checks out one of the new kiosks.
By Mary Carlson and Matt Kelly
Trees and pillars may not be bulletin boards much longer—not that they were ever meant to be.
In an effort to reduce visual clutter and runoff pollution, University officials are experimenting with three new kiosks for students to post handbills on Grounds.
The result of a planning process started in 2004, the kiosks were developed by the University architect’s office, which conducted interviews with faculty and staff, finding concern about litter and chalk messaging in the Central Grounds area.
The eight-foot, elliptical aluminum kiosks each have a backlit map of the Grounds under a sheet of Plexiglas, with the location of the kiosk marked on it, to aid self-conducted tours of the Grounds. A set of lights shows off the handbills, and the kiosks also can be altered to accommodate touch-screen monitors and digital display units.
While providing an outlet for student self-expression, the kiosks should reduce litter by preventing signs from blowing free and washing into storm water drains, according to University Architect David J. Neuman.
“It’s not just visual pollution but also a potential waste management problem,” said Neuman, who cited the labor cost of removing fliers from pillars and walls. “These things sound minor but when you put it all together, it’s significant.”
The student council currently has rules on posting fliers, restricting them to 11-by-14 inches and limiting them to bulletin boards. But these bulletin boards are overwhelmed, said Darius P. Nabors, executive vice president of student council who played a role in the kiosk project.
“The bulletin boards are covered with fliers,” Nabors said. “We have regulations, but there is no alternative for the students.”
Because of this congestion, Nabors said, students post fliers in other places, such as the pillars outside Bryan Hall. These postings tend to stain the white columns. Once the kiosks are in place, Nabors said, student groups may be fined for inappropriate postings on columns and trees.
According to assistant landscape architect Helen A. Wilson, the kiosks can hold between 25 and 35 fliers each, with no fliers overlapping or covering the map. Posters and handbills are to be affixed with masking tape, although they will not be protected from the weather.
While student council has regulations on posting handbills, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs also is drafting a policy on posting fliers and using chalk messages.
Three kiosk prototypes have been erected on Grounds, one next to Monroe Hall, one on the Minor Hall side of Bryan Hall, and the third in Hume Plaza. The University is testing two styles, one in blue to match highway directional signs and another in green to match existing lampposts. Neuman said the test will determine which is least intrusive, which finish stands up to the weather and which style is more compatible with University Grounds.
The kiosks cost about $5,000 each, with installation costs varying from site to site. Facilities Management will maintain the machine-painted kiosks, removing posters about once a week. The program will be evaluated at the end of the summer with input from students and Facilities Management, including groundskeeping crews.
After evaluation, installation of additional kiosks will depend on funding, Wilson said. If new kiosks are installed, they will be clustered in high-traffic areas, she said. As a further waste-control effort, students are being encouraged to place more announcements on the Internet.