Journalism students to see Allen Hall partly reopen in the fall
It’s been 12 months since Allen Hall closed its doors and was surrounded by a chain-link fence. Twelve months of construction, renovation and rewiring.
The fence will be removed this fall for journalism and communication students and the building will gradually come back to life. By January 2013, Allen Hall will fully reopen to hold classes with 40 percent more space, new tools and new labs.
“We’ll have some limited operations this fall,” said Andre Chinn, instructional technology coordinator for the School of Journalism and Communication. “Everyone who was displaced by the renovation will be moving back in and the equipment checkout will likely be moving back in as well.”
The expansion has cost some $15 million. General obligation bonds issued by the state will pay $7.5 million and an anonymous donor gave $5 million. The rest was paid for by donations from alumni, employees and friends of the school.
Most of the new space and additions are in the new wing added onto the building that encompasses 16,500 square feet.
The new three-story wing will include collaborative spaces, a signature lecture hall, a new classroom and expanded space for faculty. The additions are all intended to reflect the journalism industry, where collaboration and innovative thinking are more essential to success than ever before.
Some students are unsure about the new Allen Hall. “I haven’t heard much about it,” University journalism major Saige Kolpack said. “I just wonder if, technology wise, it will have anything cool.”
According to the SOJC, there are a few notable additions. One of the areas in the newly built wing will include the digital commons, which has been called the “cornerstone” of the new building. The commons is an open-air computer lab intended to change how groups collaborate and interact.
Another space will be a central meeting area where students, faculty and staff can come to talk and relax.