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Loyola remasters its Communications/Music Complex with $700,000 in renovations and equipment upgrades

August 8, 2008

The cutting room, and other Loyola studios, will soon become cutting-edge. Production teaching facilities within the Communications/Music Complex at Loyola University New Orleans are currently undergoing major renovations and are being outfitted with state-of-the-art production equipment.

The $700,000 renovation is slated to wrap up in October, and includes approximately $200,000 in new technology and $500,000 in physical improvements. These upgrades will allow students, faculty and music and film professionals alike to benefit by providing them practical knowledge of and access to equipment and techniques used in professional production facilities. The spaces will be used to teach classes such as recording, video production, featuring writing, reporting and digital communications.

“One of the major goals for the area was to create spaces that the entire university can use. They will serve, among other things, as a teaching production facility where students can learn by doing,” said John Snyder, coordinator of the Music Industry Studies. “The renovations will also provide high-tech rehearsal facilities for music, theatre and dance classes, and will provide a multitude of tools for the university community.”

Four studios and the university radio station are receiving improvements in the Communications/Music Complex. Studio A, currently a music rehearsal studio, will become a large multimedia meeting and presentation space that can accommodate 80 people and will be outfitted with new video projectors, sound equipment and a movie green screen. Studio B is an audio recording studio and it has been redesigned by internationally renowned studio designer, George Augspurger. This studio will be versatile enough to handle solo and small ensemble projects and will become the rehearsal domain for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.

Studio C, the television broadcast studio, will receive updated audio and visual equipment as well as new studio furniture and lighting to better represent what you would find in the professional television industry. Studio D is being equipped with five new Avid stations, professional-grade video and audio editing equipment, which will transform this space into a cutting-edge production studio. Additionally, Loyola’s student-run radio station, Crescent City Radio, will be upgraded to become a space where high-quality audio can be recorded and used for a variety of purposes including Internet podcasts.

Students within Loyola’s Colleges of Social Sciences and Music and Fine Arts will be able to access the revamped studios for course work. This includes those in the School of Mass Communication, Music Industry Studies and the School of Nursing. Additionally, other members of the university community and those in the professional film and music industry will be able to rent the studio space at a low cost, according to Snyder.

John Crutti, a music industry studies instructor, is overseeing the renovation to the audio recording studio. He says students are excited about the upgrades and some have even helped with the renovation process, installing new equipment and preparing studio spaces for physical renovations.

“Our students are gaining practical knowledge of the new equipment now by simply installing it. Most other schools don’t allow their students to interact with advanced equipment like what’s being installed for fear it will be broken,” Crutti explained. “We want our students involved with this equipment at all stages of learning in order to increase their experience and increase their marketability as they enter the job market. There is no better experience to be had than hands-on experience. If there are problems, we have the necessary tools and skills on the faculty to teach students how to fix them.”

Some upcoming projects the renovations will make possible include podcasting of stories by The Maroon for Internet use and for broadcast on Crescent City Radio; distance learning presentations by faculty of the School of Nursing; and video recorded faculty and student interviews for the Internet. But studio use won’t end there.

“Although these areas will primarily belong to Loyola’s School of Mass Communication, School of Nursing and Music Industry Studies, other departments from the university will be able to use the area for the creation of online courses, television content production, Internet content production, and the presentation of seminars, conferences, theatrical productions, music masterclasses, lectures and other public events,” said Robert Thomas, Ph.D, interim director of Loyola’s School of Mass Communication.

Several individuals are spearheading the management of the renovation project. They include Snyder, who authored the project’s master plan for the renovation and supervises the purchase of equipment, allocation of space, use of space, construction and administration; Thomas, who serves alongside Snyder as the project’s administrator; Jim Gabour, professor of video technology, who is responsible for overseeing all television and video renovations; Crutti, who is responsible for managing all recording and studio B renovations; Paul Botelho, coordinator of technology in the College of Music and Fine Arts, who serves as an acoustics consultant; Bob Anding, chief engineer in the School of Mass Communication, who is responsible for overseeing the post-production and studio C renovations; and Valerie Andrews, lecturer in the School of Mass Communication, who is serving as a consultant.

For more information, contact Sean Snyder in the Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call (504) 861-5882.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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