Bad signs point toward Augustana this school year, literally.
Three years ago, 28th Street made the transition from a city-owned street to a road privately owned by Augustana, said Campus Safety director Rick Tupper. This summer, the college made the decision to rename the street.
“We wanted these street names to have something a little more closely identified with Augustana,” said vice president for advancement Bob Preloger.
The college asked the city for ownership of 28th Street to provide more space for students with a green parking permit. There are only two properties on the acquired section of 28th Street that are not owned by the college, Tupper said. The city deemed Augustana owners of enough of the property for the change of hands to be a feasible transition. The two private owners signed waivers agreeing to the city’s vacation of the street.
Now, Augustana is in charge of plowing, maintaining and providing signage for the street. After years of allowing the street to remain as 28th Street, the college made the transition this summer to the new name, College Drive.
Unfortunately, the college was unaware of a city ordinance requiring all renamed private streets to end in the word “place.”
“How were we supposed to have known that?” said Preloger.
According to both Tupper and Preloger, Augustana owns three other private roads, all ending in “drive.” However, because “Commons Drive,” “Mortenson Drive” and “Nelson Drive” are only named as such on college maps, and there are no addresses located on any of these roads, the city has not had to intervene.
Now, at the prompting of city engineers, Augustana is charged with renaming the former 28th Street “College Place” and providing all new street signs. Preloger estimates that each batch of signs, including theme house address plates, parking signs, and street signs, costs approximately 500 dollars, an amount that comes from the Marketing department budget.
“You have to go through a whole process to rename a street,” Tupper said. Without an official street name, addresses are void of meaning. Online maps still locate all residences on the misnamed street as 28th Street addresses.
For public safety reasons like emergency calls, “obviously we want the houses and buildings to show up on maps,” Tupper said.
Augustana has asked the city for permission to officially rename the street; the ball is now in the city’s court in a process that will take an undetermined amount of time. The street must be re-plated, Preloger said, a zoning procedure that includes measuring various areas of the properties and drawing a map to scale which shows the divisions of the land. Tupper estimates that the whole city process is two to three months from completion.
Augustana Student Association vice president Krista Youngberg is happy that Augustana is making the effort to incorporate 28th Street into the campus.
“It makes it more like we’re in the community,” Youngberg said. “The plans that they have for it are pretty cool.”
In the meantime, the college is allowed to leave up the incorrect signs. They will be changed when the process is complete.