NEO updates lighting around walkways to new energy efficient LED lights.

MIAMI – The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Campus Mall is getting a little bit brighter following updates to lighting around walkways. Through a concerted effort between the Student Body Government (SBG) and administrators, the dated lights that line campus are begin retrofitted with new LED housings. The new lights are cooler (whiter) and brighter than the warmer (redder) lights that are currently installed at many outdoor areas.

“One of the best ways to help prevent criminal acts is to keep populated areas lit up,” said Mark Wall, Director for the NEO Department of Public Safety. “The lighting also has the added benefit of assisting the quality of recording for our upgraded security camera network. This is just another example of how NEO is dedicated to the safety of its students, employees, and guests on campus.”

Over the past several months, NEO SBG has been working with students on campus and administrators to ensure the lighting updates were quickly implemented. SBG Officers Deven Foster and Lyndsey Harvey noted that what at first seemed like a minor inconvenience was an issue that the student body wanted addressed.

“The team as a whole had heard numerous concerns from students saying that they didn’t feel safe walking back to dorms in the evening, or that every time you walk by a light, it seemed to turn off, and there you were in the dark again,” said the team. “Student peace of mind was clearly a huge concern, so we took the issue very seriously.”

The team wrote up their concerns and took them to Physical Plant Director Steve Grimes’ office.

“We voiced our concerns, and Steve took to heart what we said.”

After comparing the SBG plan with the ongoing retrofitting plan, Grimes was quickly able to begin the Campus Mall project. As part of NEO’s commitment to improving energy efficiency as well as being good stewards of state funds, Grimes noted that careful consideration went into every step of the retrofit.

“We’ve been completing the retrofits over the past several months and it was important for us to be mindful of the cost as well as the plan the SBG brought to my office,” he said. “By finding the right lighting system, we’ve been able to retrofit these lights for about one-third of the price we had originally estimated since they are energy efficient, they will pay for themselves in as little as four years.”

President Jeff Hale is encouraged by the project and is dedicated to continued cooperation between the student body and the NEO administration.

“Campus safety and the day-to-day security of students, faculty, staff, and visitors is a stated goal of NEO's 2020 Strategic Plan," said Hale. "I am so proud of our SBG who brought the recommendation forward and our Physical Plant staff who made the improvements happen.”