The Whitworth University sign was replaced on the corner of Waikiki Road and Hawthorne Road in response to frequent vandalism. Prior to the installation of the new sign, vandals frequently stole the gold letters on the sign and broke the backlights.
Whenever the original gold letters were stolen, temporary placeholders would be put in place, instead of completely replacing them. When the backlights of the sign got vandalized, they were never replaced.
“It was cost prohibitive, so we couldn’t do the backlighting again so we had floodlighting put in,” Director of Facilities Services Chris Eichorst said. “The letters just kept getting stolen as well.”
In 2012, a Whitworth committee solicited three sign makers to develop a new sign and approve the cost. The process to develop the sign has taken two years, and the money for the sign has been set aside for years, Eichorst said. The cost for the sign did not come out of the 2013-14 budget and had no effect on the deficit that was announced in February.
Vandals would no longer be able to remove the letters on the new sign, as they are embossed into the concrete. Even if they could remove the concrete letters, each section on the sign weighs nearly 200 pounds.
“It’s been a long project because it’s very tedious,” Eichorst said.
The final cost of the project was $20,435.