After a tragic fatality on the job and delays getting fire inspections and other permits completed, it seemed like the Cass improvements would never be done.
Though many students besides Communication and Arts majors who frequent the building, probably haven’t noticed the improvements, those who do are happy to see the expansion.
Junior Lauren Hillsgrove and senior Erica Walton are both happy to have classes in the new labs.
“We haven’t used the computers yet; that will really come once we get into editing,” Hillsgrove said.
Both agree that “the labs are really nice.”
“All the computers are Macs, so it’s the latest technology,” said freshman Zaigret Canals, who is currently taking Intro to Sound, Image and Motion.
Canals claimed the new labs “really help for [her] major.”
Students are not the only ones affected by these changes; UT’s faculty is also very excited about the project and the positive results it creates.
Professor Douglas Sutherland, who has been teaching most of his classes in the Cass building since he started at UT five years ago, is optimistic about the results.
“We are able to offer more classes,” he said, “and there is now time when the classroom is not in use, allowing for maintenance of the software and computers.”
Sutherland was not disappointed that more offices weren’t incorporated into the new construction and remains happy with his current location in the Cass Annex. Like Sutherland, Professor Juliet Davis is also pleased that new offices weren’t built in Cass, as they appeared on earlier blueprints.
“Taking that space would have meant that relatively few areas would have been left for actual classrooms,” she said. “Another important priority to all of the COM faculty was to stay together physically.”
Fueling everyone’s excitement is the prospect of future development.
Multimedia Lab Coordinator Corey George said that by August of this year, the Media Lab will be added, allowing more classes to be taught in the building’s labs.
In addition, the Advanced Edit Suite and the Equipment cage will be moved to Cass, and further expansion in the form of a TV Control Room and Audio Edit Suite are soon to follow.
“The long-term plan for Communication is that it will only spend about five years in the Cass building before it will move into a new building to be constructed beside Stadium Place,” said Davis.
There is a lot of anticipation among faculty members, with good reason to boot. Professor Sutherland, like Davis, is thinking ahead.
“When the final build out is complete, the facility will be a real asset,” he said. “With the rate of programs in the Art and Communication are growing, it is essential.”