March 31, 2004

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations

Blazin' Smokestack Gives VSU Higher Profile

Valdosta State University's 56-year-old smokestack, located in the heart of the main campus, is the home of a new ?VSU Blazers? sign being installed by ANS Signs, Inc. of Adel, Georgia. The new neon sign, located on the 110-foot smokestack, will include a Blazer flame at the top and the words VSU Blazers down the side. The sign is expected to be a promotional focal point and enhance the approach to the campus from I-75 coming down Baytree Road.

The VSU smokestack was used originally for the steam plant and then later for natural gas, before going out of service. About 2 ? years ago the smokestack had to be repaired for lightning damage and about ten feet of the stack was removed. Over the last several years a wireless telephone company has contracted with VSU to use the smokestack as the location for an antenna. Revenue from this contract is being used to help pay for the $17,900 sign, a price that reflects a 58 percent reduction by ANS Signs, Inc. from normal contract pricing.

In a letter of thanks to Lorie C. Apperson, President of ANS Signs, Inc., VSU Vice President for Business and Finance states, ?Your generosity will positively affect the lives of students, faculty, and staff of Valdosta State University for many years to come.?

Black said the sign, which is being installed with no cost to state taxpayers, will enhance the Baytree approach to the campus and ?lift school spirit in a way that few other things could!?

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