By Tony Parra
The new 34,000 square-foot Communication Center is full of life with the bustling of with students and professors in the first week of use at Eastern New Mexico University.
On Thursday the overall feeling expressed by students was that it’s nice to be going to communications classes in only one building and a new one at that.
“It’s nice and clean,” Christopher Kelley, an ENMU sophomore, said on Thursday. “I used to have to go to the College of Business and Jack Williamson Liberal Arts building for my communications courses.”
Kelley is a communications minor and he and ENMU senior Phillip Otero were exiting the new Communication Center after their persuasive communication course on Thursday.
“I think it could be a very good recruiting tool for communications majors,” Otero said. Otero said it was the education program which attracted him to ENMU.
Professor Patricia Dobson instructed Otero and Kelley on Thursday afternoon. Dobson is one of the professors with a new office in the Communication Center. The Communicative Arts and Sciences faculty members will have offices in the Communication Center.
“Everything is going very well,” Janet Roehl, professor of Communication and department chair, said about the first week in the new building. “We’ve had such good support from faculty from other offices. They have pitched in and helped us.”
The communications professors and students are still in a transition period. On Thursday afternoon Karly Parkans, student-hire worker and Katy Force, work study employee helped with the transition by filing brochures from boxes from the College of Business.
Roehl said communications classes were held in different buildings around campus, such as the Broadcast Center, Jack Williamson Liberal Arts and College of Business buildings. Roehl said one concern she has is the lack of carpeting on the hallways. The classrooms have carpeting but the hallways don’t and this is a noise and safety issue.
One of the objectives professors want to complete with the design of the new Communication Center is improved interaction between professors and students.
“Our goal was to improve our student and faculty interaction,” Roehl said.
Open spaces and a lobby located by the faculty offices are two of the items used to achieve this objective.
Still left to be completed is the new state-of-the art KENW Broadcast Center. The new broadcast center has yellow caution tape and only construction workers are allowed to enter the south portion of the building. Production and some communication courses are being held in the old KENW Broadcast Center across the street from the new Communication Center.
There will be three studios in the new building — one for instructional use for students, the second studio for use for the KENW students to broadcast news and a third studio for general production.
In November of 2002, voters approved a general obligation bond to fund the multi-million dollar facility. The Communications Center will house KENW-TV’s new digital television production equipment which is expected to improve the range and quality of the station’s broadcast transmission. In addition, the center will also hold the Broadcast Center’s studios, instructional television control rooms, production areas, editing rooms and a production studio where students can prepare their class projects.