Despite the welcome of the Frances L. Wolfson Building in March 2001, the School of Communication [SOC] administration is making plans for an additional $6.25 million expansion which will include space for sections of student activities and working areas for the varying majors in the SOC and will eliminate the use of additional buildings such as the Learning Center lecture halls to hold classes.
Members of the building committee include SOC Dean Edward Pfister, Associate Dean Robert Hosman, Jackie Gonzalez, director of administration, and Victor Jugenheimer, director of engineering services.
“Our primary purpose is to build to serve our students with space other than formal classrooms,” Pfister said. “We want the new building to be available to students 14 to 15 hours a week, seven days a week.”
“I’m glad to hear that we’re working on it,” Dr. Bruce Garrison said. “We’ve been very successful in recent years and we need the space.”
The SOC supports over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 40 faculty members.
Construction for the new building is set to begin within the next six months.
“Our school has grown to the point where we are out of space,” Gonzalez said. “We want to enhance the school with the new addition.”
“I think it will provide a better working environment for students and staff,” said junior Grace Daley, broadcast major.
However, some students seem to think too little, too late.
“I think it’s poor planning since they finished the [current] building two years ago,” said sophomore Seanna Cronin, photojournalism and biology major. “But I guess it’s a good sign that the school is growing and that people want to take [communication] classes.”
Freshman Aubrie Campbell, motion pictures major, was surprised but pleased to hear about the expansion.
“More space is good. I think it’s cool,” she said.
Although the plan for the SOC expansion is still in the early stages of development, those involved with the project say that the proposed 5-story building will be built to be able to accommodate future expansion.
The additional structure will be connected to the longer part of the L-shaped building in the grassy area across from the LC.
The first floor will be used as an audio lab and computer lab for AVID composition and technicians; the second floor will serve as a 150-student lecture hall and rooms for student activities including the debate team and PhD students; the third floor will house a 150-student lecture hall, six faculty offices, the news bureau and spaces for adjunct professors.
According to organizers, the building will be partially funded by the University; however, donors will be the main source of funding.
At press time, these donors were still undetermined.