Campus Infrastructure

SUNY Cortland to Replace All Lampposts on Campus

The State University of New York College at Cortland (SUNY Cortland) in Cortland, N.Y., is in the process of replacing decades-old outdoor lampposts around campus. Phase I of the three-phase project is scheduled for completion by the end of the summer, and the entire project should be done by fall 2022. The renovations are being done in the name of aging infrastructure replacement, energy sustainability, and aesthetic design.

“We understand how intrusive this is to campus and hope that people will be understanding and know that it’s for the greater good,” said Dillon Young, lead construction manager with SUNY Cortland’s Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction. “Soon it will be restored, and we will have a beautiful campus again. Once we’re done, we won’t have to disturb the campus again for a very long time.”

Local contractors Billitier Electric of Cortland, N.Y., and excavating company Yeomans Enterprises of Homer, N.Y., are handling the construction, which involves installing lampposts alongside campus walkways, streets, and parking lots. When the third and final phase of the project is finished, the campus will contain 467 exterior light fixtures and 27 emergency blue light call boxes.

The stated goals of the project are to make campus “safer and more well-lit at night, twice as energy efficient, neighborhood- and nature-friendly with reduced light pollution, and more uniform in appearance cross campus.” The new fixtures use LED technology that offers substantially more energy efficiency that incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs. Young called it a “50 percent energy savings.”

Each phase of the work focuses on a different portion of campus. The new lampposts are being installed and turned on before the old ones are removed, for safety’s sake. The electrical lines between posts run 18 inches underground.

Funding comes from the State University Construction Fund for high-priority maintenance projects, according to Juanita Larrabee, Director of Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction for the university. “The highest priority is given to projects that address ‘life and safety concerns, core infrastructure in need of replacement that, if not addressed, could disrupt campus operations, and upgrade for buildings and infrastructure to meet current building codes and regulations, such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),’” she said.

 SUNY Cortland was able to take advantage of this funding during pandemic-induced cost-cutting because the project had already been in the works for several years.

“We had the design complete and shovel ready, whereas other campuses weren’t as ready to use the funding,” Young said.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].