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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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	A view of the McKinley Building in March 2013.

McKinley to open for classes next semester

School of Communication Dean Jeffrey Rutenbeck assured students and faculty that the McKinley Building would be ready for spring classes during a Nov. 13 town hall.

The building should be “academically operational” by Jan. 13, which means classes will be held there whether or not professors have moved into their new offices, SOC Associate Dean Ed Beimfohr said.

“Unanticipated stuff always happens,” Beimfohr said.

All of SOC, with the exception of the video game program and the photography program, will move to the new building, the Eagle previously reported.

However, Beimfohr was confident the move-in schedule would progress on time. Faculty teaching fall classes will move offices Dec. 20, and all faculty members who are not teaching this semester will move on Dec. 17 since they will not be preoccupied with grading finals.

Some students and faculty seemed skeptical about the quick move and Rutenbeck acknowledged that the timeline was tight.

“We’re kind of threading the needle on this,” he said.

Two main rooms, the Media Innovation Lab and the new Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theatre, will be closed for continual construction until at least February, according to Tom Argasinski, project manager for the building.

The construction will be “punchless work” that is not noisy and should not disturb classes, Argaskinski added.

The building will also only be open from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day, with permission required for entry outside those times.

“We’re following the [School of International Service] model,” Rutenbeck said.

Among the new features of the new building that Rutenbeck highlighted are:

  • A rooftop terrace with seating for about fifty
  • The new Media Innovation Lab, which has facilities for broadcast studios and editing programs
  • Classrooms with higher capacities and more space
  • Two computer labs for students to work in while the building is open
  • The new theater, which will seat 144 people

The new building will vastly increase the visibility of SOC on campus, as well as giving the college much-needed upgrades in equipment and teaching facilities, Rutenbeck said.

“SOC has always been behind the scenes, behind the curtain,” Rutenbeck said. “[McKinley] is a quantum leap for us.”

cjohnson@theeagleonline.com


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