YPSILANTI – It quickly became a bit of a campus mystery. What is that tall, black structure recently erected outside of Marshall Hall, at one of the busiest pedestrian junctures on the Eastern Michigan University campus?
Answer: It’s a Verizon cellular installation, by far the largest of seven such structures in the process of being erected around campus to improve cell phone reception – most notably in emergency situations – for students, faculty and staff.
The installation was approved during a regular Board of Regents meeting on April 21, 2017. The board granted ACD.net, on behalf of Verizon Wireless, an easement for aerial and underground access for installation of the fiber network, infrastructure and poles associated with the project.
The project, paid for by Verizon Wireless, involves seven microcell system platforms that propagate the distribution of broadband signal across campus.
“The upgrade ensures the increasing demand of communication systems by our students, employees and public safety personnel can be met,” the recommendation to the Board of Regents reads. “Reliable coverage at EMU is critical to provide 911 services to allow EMU law enforcement and medical personnel location information for those in distress.
“In excess of 90 percent of all 911 calls come from a wireless device, and this technology is a key component to improving public safety across campus as well as providing enhanced convenience to the University community.”
In addition to the location adjacent to Marshall, six other smaller Verizon platforms will be located at the northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast ends of campus, on East Circle Drive near Pray Harrold and just south of the Student Center pond. See the map posted on the Regents website for specific locations of the platforms. AT&T also is installing a single cell phone platform on campus, located atop the Pray-Harrold Building.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.