When we "broke ground" for the new journalism school's construction on February 3, we eschewed the cliché of hard hats, gold-painted shovels and a box of dirt. Since we are completely gutting the former Health Sciences building, we were tempted to put up a wall and smash it with sledgehammers, but we were dissuaded. How would that fit with the university's commitment to sustainability and the environment?
So we went virtual. Virtual is a reality these days. A video produced by student Casey Ksau contrasts the deteriorated reality of our future building with the architect's renderings of what it will become.
Check it out here — bonus point for naming the music.
In our college, when we break ground, we want it to be new ground for addressing the tectonic shift of the digital media landscape. New foundations for exploring the way we communicate. New structures in which to build our new curriculum. And a new place on the horizon for our students and graduates.
When the contractor's security fencing and the construction zone signs went up around the building in late January, we quietly cheered this long-awaited step for the journalism school. We are now in the mobilization and demolition phase. That includes hazardous waste abatement to clean up the site. It wasn't pretty. (Weekly construction updates, video and photos, are on our new building website. Check it out )
Our meticulously detailed timeline for construction runs on for seven pages. For this coming Friday, it says: "remove existing windows" and "demo wall for addition." At the bottom of page 7, it says: "Final completion. Fri 7/3/15."
I'll be first to admit, it's getting exciting to see this happening. And the enthusiasm must be catching. Provost Michael Amiridis has pledged to lead the parade from the Coliseum to the new building in August of 2015. You won't want to miss that.
The music? Fittingly, it's Sousa's "Washington Post March."
Journalism school heads to heart of campus
Reprinted from The Daily Gamecock, Feb. 6, 2014
by Natalie Pita
The journalism school, which has been housed in the Carolina Coliseum since 1969, celebrated its "groundbreaking" on Feb. 3 at the former Health Sciences building at Greene and Sumter streets.
The 54,000-square-foot building will be transformed into an open, engaging environment where about 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students will take classes. The $25 million project will provide nearly double the space that the journalism school currently has. ￼
"We've physically and philosophically outgrown the Coliseum. It's an inflexible blockhouse, but we're in a time when the media landscape is vast, evolving and unconfined by real or virtual walls," said Charles Bierbauer, dean of the College ofMass Communications and Information Studies, in a release. "We also think communications is central to any and every part of the university. And so, the school should be central and visible in its features and functions."
Dating back to 1923, USC's journalism school is one of the oldest in the country. The Boudreaux Group, a Columbia architectural firm with prior experience at the university and in repurposing buildings, has worked closely with the school to design a facility with a focus on current and future needs.
"I think it's moving the journalism school to the new millennium," Brett Williams, a first-year broadcast journalism student who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, said. "I think these new improvements will make the journalism school second to none."
The school has also been approved to build an approximately 1,400-square-foot "greenhouse" studio adjacent to the school's main building, courtesy of a $1.5 million pledge in 2011 by an anonymous donor.
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