Campus Light Pole Repurposed
A 100-foot light pole was removed from campus last Friday and transported to Cherry Creek Elementary School, where it will be put to new use as an antenna site for Northern’s WiMAX network. A collaboration with Marquette Area Public Schools will enable NMU to expand coverage in Chocolay Township beyond that currently offered by the antenna at the NMU Golf Course. The system should be operational before or shortly after the MAPS school year begins.
“We’ve been gradually taking down the high-mast light poles on campus, but this is the first time we’ve repurposed one,” said Jim Thams (Engineering and Planning). “The university saved money compared with having to construct a tower. And now that we’ve engineered the design for the retrofit, we know we could do it again at an even greater savings if another opportunity presents itself.”
Thams said the 100-foot poles were installed in 1986. They are difficult to access for maintenance and create light pollution issues by bleeding into surrounding areas. One long-standing goal has been to remove the high poles and install lower-scale lighting geared toward both pedestrians and vehicles. There is no set schedule, but one or two have been taken down each of the last few years, replaced with 30-foot poles on sidewalks and 40-foot models in parking lots and roadways.