Advancements at E-town: Learning, Collaboration Spaces Renovated
Steinman Center’s new converged media center is a space built for collaboration and created through collaboration. Two years ago, the College embarked on extensive renovations to create a space that promoted interaction between the student media outlets. During the 2011-2012 Winter Break, the radio station relocated to a more visible location, and a colorful student lounge with new furniture was added.
Since the project began, students, faculty and staff members have affected every aspect of the process, from planning to the actual renovations. Marshal Craft Associates created designs based on input from student media representatives and communications faculty members. Throughout the summer, 10 engineering students worked with Facilities Management and Helm Construction to complete the changes, and communications students Graham Lenker ’15 and Ryan Carson ’15 were assigned to Steinman to rewire and set up equipment underserved.
The new open floor plan includes relocated and updated editing suites, the Etownian, student newspaper office (moved from Brossman Commons), new curtains and light grid for the ECTV studio, an extended lounge area and a relocated student lab assistant office. Renovations were completed at the start of the fall semester. “We’ve created the space and are excited to see how it works and can’t wait to see how excited the students are. Hopefully, they are as excited as we are,” said Dr. Kirsten Johnson, associate professor of communications.
Gibble Goes High-Tech
Thanks to monetary gifts, from a long list of donors who specifically earmarked their contributions for the project, Gibble Auditorium underwent significant reconstructive surgery this past summer.
“The atmosphere is now more conducive to learning,” said Mark Zimmerman, director of facilities management, who pointed out fresh aesthetics and updated mechanicals. “We went from an institutional space of the ’60s to a state-of-the-art, pleasant-to-be-in room.”
Originally constructed in 1964 as part of Esbenshade Hall, Gibble, with 211 seats, is home to classes, films, lectures and Mad Cow Improv performances.
Leffler Chapel and Performance Center, though acoustically pleasing and spacious, is sometimes too much of a good thing, and the KÁV in Brossman Commons, though intimate, does not offer theatre-style seating. Gibble offers the best of both worlds.
“We looked at the infrastructure needs of the space and then where we could make aesthetically pleasing changes,” said Zimmerman, adding that upgrades need to support present and future programming.
Phase one, initiated over Winter Break in 2012, addressed the ceiling, sprinkler system, duct work, sound proofing, heating and air conditioning, and audio-visual components. Phase two began this summer, with input from student employees who assisted with demolition, mechanicals, carpentry and painting.
“Programs can now expand because of the infrastructure. The space is much more high-tech,” said Zimmerman.