COLCHESTER – Vermont Public Radio completed their new building construction in 2016 and moved into the extension to great fanfare from their publicity department. Guests and visitors have given great reviews to the new, modern structure that feels grounded in old Vermont, while setting the pace for the future. But not everyone is able to navigate the new building with ease, leading to the addition of new signage and photographs to help everyone get around.
“It’s important to us that everyone can find what they’re looking for here,” said facilities director Laurie Kigonya. “We were telling people to go down the hallway, and the message just wasn’t clear. Now that we’ve increased signage visibility we’ve gotten so many fewer complaints about being lost in the new space.”
“I always called it a ‘hall,’ you know?” said one visitor, scheduled to appear on Vermont Edition to discuss his moderately successful muffins-in-mason-jars side business. “So when they told me to go down to the end of the ‘hallway,’ I just had no idea what they were talking about. I almost missed my time on air! What the dang heck is a hallway? Excuse my language.”
And it isn’t just guests who are confused. Staff has also had problems with the new layout and terminology. “Back home we always called them corridors,” said music host Linda Radtke. “I know what a hallway is, but to me this was more of a corridor, because there aren’t a lot of doors leading off of it. To me a hallway has many doors. So I think it’s nice that they added a label so people would know what they meant, even if they are wrong about the difference between a hallway and a corridor.”
“We added the photograph to be extra clear,” Kigonya said. “Maybe you see the sign for “Hallway” but you don’t know which part of the building that refers to. But with the photo, you can clearly see that the thing you are looking at right, right down in front of you, that’s the hallway we’re referring to. I don’t think it could be more clear.”
VPR is also considering signage for it’s drinking fountains, as some visitors know them only as water fountains.
“Did you know that in Massachusetts and Rhode Island they’re often called bubblers?” said Radtke in passing. “And I believe some parts of Wisconsin.”