SRU’s new building addresses will aid first responders


Old main new sign

Old Main and other campus buildings have new identification yard signs that will aid first responders. Each building has been assigned its own street address.

July 27, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -  When a call comes into the 911 switchboard in Butler County requesting aid at Slippery Rock University, emergency personnel will no longer have to wonder where on 1 Morrow Way they should respond. Campus buildings now have their own street addresses that first responders can see from the road.

scott albert


"In the past, we've only had one address for the campus, 1 Morrow Way," said Scott Albert, assistant vice president for facilities and planning. "In terms of getting people, especially first responders, to the right location as quickly as possible, that presented some problems."

The new addresses, such as McKay Education Building 105 Maltby Ave., are on identification yard signs in front of 49 buildings. Thirteen buildings have wall-mounted signs, and each building will have address numbers placed near an entrance or visible from the road, said Joan Allen, SRU architectural designer 2 for construction design and management.

"The buildings in the quad received both building identification yard signs facing Central Loop as well as the wall-mounted signs facing the Quad," she said.

SRU has installed 22 new directional signs, outdoor campus maps and will put 25 new street signs in place before the school year begins, she said.

Albert said the individual addresses will reduce the potential for confusion during emergencies, deliveries and campus visits; plus, they will make the University 911 compliant.

"The way current response works is first responders coming to campus have to contact campus police, and depending on whether they have familiarity with campus, they have to actually follow an officer to the emergency," Albert said.

"Right now, if you do a search on Google Maps for Slippery Rock University, It gives you the generic 1 Morrow Way, so how do you get to a specific location if you're a first responder? By going to street addresses, first responders can more quickly reach a site, whether it to provide medical care, to begin fighting a fire or to provide assistance to police."

While the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire and Rescue Team and Borough Police have a great idea where everything is on campus, Albert said state troopers out of the Butler Barracks or backup fire department are not as familiar with campus buildings.

He said the Butler County 911 Emergency Services will be updating its database with the addresses and that the information is being populated through Google and Apple maps, with assistance from the SRU Office of Communication and Public Affairs.

The new yard signs could save first responders up to two minutes, said Mark Bell, the quality assurance-training specialist for Butler County 911.

"Even a minute can be huge when it comes to providing emergency medical intervention or if a building is on fire," Bell said. "A fire can go a long way in one minute."

Bell said the Slippery Rock and Harrisville fire departments respond to every fire call originating on campus, including dumpster fires and suspected gas leaks. If it is a major structure fire or suspected hazardous waste spill, companies from all over the area will respond.

He said SRU's proactive approach is a fantastic development.

"If you have addresses that are marked, it makes it much easier and quicker to respond," he said. "When coming to campus before, you had to search for a building or waive down a student on the street."

Building yard signs should also make it easier for delivery trucks and newcomers to find their way, Albert said. For example, the 1 Morrow Way address could confuse a prospective student trying to find Swope Music Hall on their GPS.

"Visitors to campus will eventually be able to put an put an address into their GPS and drive directly to their destination rather than having to stop and look at a campus map or downloading one from the SRU website," Albert said. "It just makes it that much easier. I expect every staff and faculty member on would say the same thing: Now they don't have to give directions to find their facilities."

With each building now having its own address, the University will implement a new addressing convention, according to Rita Abent, executive director for communication and public affairs. The new style will now include the direct mailing address for each building. For example, the president's address would now be written as:

new address envelope

Office of the President
Slippery Rock University
104 Maltby, Suite 300
Slippery Rock, PA 16057-1236

"For budget and conservation purposes, we're not asking anyone to dispose of any printed materials with the generic 1 Morrow Way address. Rather, when they are ordering new stationary, business cards or other collateral material, the direct address will be incorporated in the templates," Abent said. "This is a process. It will take some time to fully implement the change, but in the end this should make it much easier for visitors to find exactly where they need to go on campus."

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |