By Lucy DeFruscio, Point Park News Service:
Point Park University unveiled the floor plans of its new state-of-the-art learning center Wednesday morning during a press conference held at the location of the new Center for Media Innovation.
The Center will be located at the corner of Wood Street and Third Avenue in the space of the former Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.
Pittsburgh-based GBBN Architects designed the center as an interactive and collaborative space for students throughout the university to utilize the latest technology for school projects and extracurricular commitments.
“We see this as a place for media innovation,” Point Park News Service Director Andy Conte said. “We see this is a place for our students who can come in and they can learn about the new technologies and innovations they need to go forth, so when they graduate from Point Park University, they are prepared to go into these media outlets and start working right away.”
The Center will include street-level television and radio broadcast studios, a photography studio and a multimedia newsroom. It also can be transformed for presentation and gallery space.
Inside the new media center, students will have access to work areas for editing, reporting and design. The Point Park News Service, Wood Street Communications and The Globe, Point Park’s student-run newspaper, and The Pioneer, a classroom-based digital magazine will also operate in the center.
Trib Total Media Chairman Yale Gutnick expressed how excited and proud the company is to be partnering with Point Park on transforming the space. Trib Total Media is a sponsor of the site, while the Allegheny Foundation will provide most of the funding for renovation costs.
“We see this as a space for professional journalists, where they can come in and collaborate and discuss and hear about the latest innovations, and they can actually start to carry them out and experiment together,” Conte said.
Point Park University President Paul Hennigan said the School of Communication has all of the elements of a world-class communication program. The Center for Media Innovation will transform the program into a “dynamic learning environment,” he said.
As Hennigan discussed preserving the old buildings of Point Park’s Academic Village, he said how this new center will allow students to “be at the forefront of media innovation.”
Most importantly, this center will benefit the students tremendously as they will be afforded opportunities to exercise their abilities on the latest technology, which will prepare them for the professional world.
Senior broadcasting major Brittany Lauffer offered words of advice for her fellow undergraduates on their academic journey in the new facility.
“Point Park will provide you the opportunities that you need to succeed,” Lauffer said. “All you have to do as students is take advantage of them. I did, or I wouldn’t be speaking in front of all of you today.”
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Point Park University Chair of the Board Anne Lewis and City Councilman Daniel Lavelle also offered words of praise for the beginning of a new step in the School of Communication’s future.
The Center for Media Innovation is projected to be completed by fall 2016.