Dedication ceremony to celebrate new convergence center

For months, noise associated with construction and renovation of Moudy Building South, home of the College of Communication, became a part of the class experience for students there.

John Lumpkin, director of the Schieffer School of Journalism, said that the building had been the same for decades and that the construction is part of a plan to expand the school’s future opportunities, like broadcasting student newscasts outside of the university.

One big addition to the school, he said, is the new convergence center.

“(It’s) at the core of what we’re attempting to do,” Lumpkin said. “It was always an essential part of the plans for the renovation and expansion of Moudy.”

The journalism school’s namesake, 1959 graduate and CBS journalist Bob Schieffer, will be present for the convergence lab’s dedication ceremony today in Moudy South.

Lumpkin said it is important to have Schieffer’s name as a part of the school.

Schieffer, moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” has covered Washington for more than 30 years and is CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent. Before his renowned career at CBS, Schieffer worked as a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have his name attached to (the school),” he said. “(However) this is not a situation where it’s name only. Bob and Pat Schieffer have been involved in the conception…renovation and expansion. They’ve seen it, and they’re really pleased.”

The cost of the renovation and the expansion is about $5.6 million, Lumpkin said. The university has funded almost all of the cost of technology and equipment, he said. The estimated cost of construction is $4.2 million, most of which has already been underwritten by donations, he said.

The changes made with the creation of the convergence center were part of the first step in a process to bring even bigger changes to the school, Lumpkin said.

“The second big ticket item in the expansion and renovation of the Moudy Building is the high-definition television production facility,” he said. “It includes a new studio control room that will have the latest Sony hi-def technology.”

Lumpkin said the technology had to be built at Sony headquarters in Japan and then shipped here and installed. He said he hopes the Sony equipment will be installed during spring break so the construction would not disrupt classes.

Woody Bruner, a Physical Plant project manager, said the cost of the Sony project was $682,000. He said that the lab should be operational by the end of March.

“We’re looking at late spring for full occupancy and implementation of the TV studio,” he said.

Lumpkin said the convergence center was not the only change made to Moudy South. He said the school is also in the process of occupying new faculty offices on the third floor, allowing all Schieffer School faculty to be in the Moudy Building instead of at temporary locations elsewhere on campus.

Staff reporter Sarah Fleischer contributed to this story.


$5.6 million

Estimated cost of the renovation and expansion in Moudy Building South.


Estimated cost of the convergence center.

22,670 square feet

Total area of renovated and new space in Moudy Building South.

May 2009 – Construction began on Moudy Building South when classes were over in May.

August 2009 – Most of the convergence center and two-thirds of the skills labs were completed.

September 2009 – The new media lab became operational.

December 2009 – Expansion and renovation of the third floor of Moudy Building South began; new offices for the dean and assistants on the second floor of Moudy Building South were completed.

March 2010 – The high definition studio scheduled to be finished.

June 2010 – The third floor of Moudy Building South scheduled to be completed.

– Compiled by staff reporter Sarah Fleischer