Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, NC

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a public community college serving the citizens of Rowan and Cabarrus counties in Concord, Kannapolis and Salisbury, N.C. The college offers more than 2,000 courses and serves a yearly enrollment of more than 22,000 students on five campuses.

For some time, administrators had wanted to replace the aging monument sign located at the system’s large North Campus, which is highly visible from Interstate 85. The sign was falling apart and had been wrapped in banners. Local sign ordinances, however, didn’t permit a taller and larger sign. Undeterred, the college asked Tim Stout of Rite Lite Signs, Inc. in nearby Concord, N.C., to help the college win approval for a new custom pylon sign featuring a large digital message center. “I’ve had to work with cities before to get variances for signs, so I was able to work with the college and the city council to get them to amend the code so our new sign was allowed,” said Stout.

The new design included a long, skinny digital sign. Working with Watchfire Signs, Stout suggested a rectangular sign, which gives the college more flexibility in the messages it displays. This shape allows larger digital lettering and its proportions are more like televisions and computer monitors, so it is more familiar to viewers. He also suggested a 16mm sign, which delivers sharp images and clear text for passing traffic. This size provided cost savings that could be put toward making the sign double-sided, with digital message centers facing both North and South bound traffic.

“Administrators were not sure the sign would be highly visible to southbound traffic, so Watchfire brought its demo truck to the location of the sign. After we drove by the sign from both directions numerous times, they were sold,” said Stout. The college uses the sign to post enrollment messages, and to highlight the system’s many degree programs.

RiteLite selected Watchfire for the LED signs because they work so well. “I never have to worry about a Watchfire sign, and parts are available for years. Other signs shut off if they get hot and have other problems. Watchfire signs are so reliable,” said Stout. “This is a busy area that is flanked by shopping centers, and the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College sign eclipses all of them.”

“Not only does the sign look amazing, we have experienced zero technical difficulties since it was installed,” said Dusty Saine, director of events at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “I want to thank RiteLite Signs Inc. for recommending Watchfire for our campus digital sign marquee.”

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