SJGC to enhance features

The administration of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication is ready to enhance its instructional program with many new features through the completion of its new $23 million facility.

Many faculty and students of the SJGC are eager to start the fall semester together in one building.

The new facility was expected to open by the fall 2004 semester, but due to construction delays and funding shortages, the opening was rescheduled for the fall 2005 semester. According to SJGC administration, the new features of the building will allow the convergence of faculty and student media; thus, bringing television, newspaper, Internet and radio technologies together.

According to SJGC Dean James Hawkins, with the push of convergence from every faculty member in the SJGC program, the new features will enhance instructional efforts to equip students with real world experience.

Hawkins said the features of the new building will contain state-of-the-art equipment, hardware and software from Apple & PC-based companies to provide solutions for each area of the building.

The 106,000 square-foot facility will give the SJGC program three times more space for offices, classrooms and labs than in Tucker Hall.

“We will clearly be better off than where we were before with more instructional space,” Hawkins said.

With about 25,000 square feet for each of its four floors, the new building will have ample space for offices on every floor, classroom on the second floor and multimedia on the third floor.

“Students can do more professional development and workshops with a variety of rooms and space,” said Arvid Mukes, director of the Graphic Communication division.

Graphic communication students will transition from three all-purpose labs in the Benjamin Banneker Tech Building to nine in the new building.

The new building is housed with several labs. Two of these labs will be designated for photography and printing labs, which will allow in-house production of Journey magazine and The Famuan.

These new labs will also give Journey and The Famuan the ability to do their own editing in the same facility. Currently, Gandy Printers produces Journey and the Tallahassee Democrat prints The Famuan at the publications’ expense.

Both publications will be housed on the same floor and will face each other. The offices for WANM 90.5 FM will also be located in same area, allowing for convergence.

“Everyone can work toward common goals through convergence,” said Joe Ritchie, journalism professor and Knight Chair. “We will be able to give our students experiences for the new world.”

The WANM 90.5 FM new offices means updated hardware and software for the radio station.

“We are moving from analog to digital technology,” said Gregg Bishop, WANM Program Director.

The new radio station will relocate to the third floor of the new building, and will have four rooms (two on-air studios and two production rooms) as opposed to its one on-air studio and two production room studios in Tucker Hall.

“We will have better storage facilities to house our library of music,” Bishop said.

ENCO Systems will provide software for scheduling automation and other programming.

Programming for FAMU TV 20 will also be produced in the new building

“We can do more convergence with our television program,” Bishop said.

Hawkins said some of the SJGC program media will slowly merge over the summer months, but the official grand opening won’t be until the fall semester.

“We’re planning for a week long of events for Homecoming, starting with Oct. 20,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins blamed weather-related problems and a $5 million furniture and equipment budget for the building’s setback in completion.

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