As the sun goes down and the students pile out, work inside The School of Media and Communication continues. The building is undergoing major renovations as part of a bigger plan to expand the half-a-century old building.
“When you come in during the morning and you know what to look for, you can find it. But if you don’t know what to look for, you don’t know they’ve been there,” says Senior Vice Dean for Finance and Administration Don Heller.
The night work consists of adding a sprinkler system to the half-century old school, replacing ceiling tiles, adding new telecommunication lines, and upgrading the size of bathrooms on each floor to make them more accessible for handicapped in order to meet ADA compliance.
Freshman Allison Reitenbach, whose had to wheel herself around campus in a wheelchair all semester long, says that it will make getting around much easier for people like her and also those on crutches.
Ultimately, the plan is for a vertical expansion onto the building to meet the growing influx of incoming students. Right now, SMC provides the least amount of square feet for each student. While Beasley School of Law provides 164 square feet, and the School of Medicine provides 263, the School of Media and Communication only provides 15 square feet for each student.
Construction for this phase of the project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016. Most of the construction will occur over the course of the summer. All summer classes that SMC has hosted in the past, will be relocated to other classrooms across campus. However, faculty is expected to continue having access to their offices.