Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president of University Relations, led a tour of MainStreet Cleveland members through the new 41,000-square-foot Communications Arts building under construction in downtown Cleveland.
Hammond offered “colorful” expressions of the $10 million cutting-edge facility, which was born because of the foresight of administrators recognizing the students’ needs.
“We want to jump ahead of the crowd,” Hammond explained. “We want to be out in front.”
The facility will house the most advanced technology for production of digital video, sound and special effects that is available, according to Hammond.
“Things happen by student participation,” Hammond said.
Administrators saw the need for the Dixon Center after students showed interest in theater and other productions.
The flexible space is used for concerts, plays and other events, including community activities.
Lee administrators noticed the interest in the communications sector and broke ground on the new facility in 2013. It stands on the corner of Ocoee Street and Central Avenue, with its border along Church Street. The Church Street Annex, formerly First Baptist Church, will also undergo changes. The streets are being completed and will include landscape and green space.
Inside the Communication Arts building will be a “Black Box” theater which will seat 175 people. A full television studio and sound stage will be complimented with screening and editing rooms complete with the latest digital technology.
“Film is a word of the past,” said Hammond, as he explained the digital evolution, but producers continue to use the word to describe their medium.
Computer labs, editing suites, a journalism lab, office spaces for 22 faculty members and plenty of learning space makes up the Communications Arts building.
The student commons area will feature Sandella’s Flatbread Café.
According to Hammond, student involvement that led administrators to consider the new building also “feeds” what students want regarding amenities such as food services.
After reviewing many plans and making changes in the plans, TriCon Inc. began construction last July. It is scheduled for completion this fall.
According to Hammond, Celebration 2014 is being planned after the completion of the new Communication Arts project is completed.
The focus of Celebration 2014 will be reflecting on the new Lee University Chapel, Pangle Hall and the Communication Arts building.
Additional details will be released later.