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Saturday, Mar 31, 2018 at 12:49 am

Live at 6 | BREAKING: Newhouse Additions Planned

By Brendan Tierney – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is working on plans to add another building to its complex, but don’t call it Newhouse Four. The school completed a feasibility study in 2016 to move the edit suites and audio recording studios from the fourth floor of Newhouse Two to a new underground space between Newhouse One and Two, outside of Food.com.

Susan Nash, Newhouse Director of Administration, is overseeing the post-production upgrade. She said this project is similar to the studio renovations in Newhouse Two where a complete re-imagination of how the school uses the space is needed.

“It started out as a technology upgrade and we quickly realized that we would be missing an opportunity if we didn’t address the physical environment also,” Nash said. “The need is critical enough that we should move as fast as possible because of the state of the facilities on the fourth floor of Newhouse Two. You can walk in the edit suites and while there may be a little bit of activity in there, they are just not set up the way that is needed.”

Nash said the current edit suites were originally designed in the 1970s for working linearly with film. Technology has changed drastically since then, making the suites irrelevant for current television production.

“We have a goal of being preeminent in every area and right now, that’s not a word I would use to describe our audio facilities,” Nash said. “I worry right now about perspective students seeing some of our audio spaces up there.”

Architect plans are due by June 2018 and will include a formal proposal on what the addition will look like. Nash said an aggressive engineering and construction timeline could break ground in 2019 for the space to open in time for classes to begin in the Fall of 2020.

The project has been estimated to cost $22 Million. That puts it between the $18 Million that was spent on the Dick Clark Studio renovation and Newhouse Three’s price tag of $31 Million. University rules state that Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham must have at least 50 percent of the estimated cost in hand, as donation or pledges, before construction can begin.

“I mean, we don’t want to get to the end of design and then have to pause forever,” Nash said. “So, we’re all rooting for her. That she is going to get the funding needed and we’ll be able to move into the next stage which is fleshing out the design and all of the specifics.”

The main advantage of creating a new space instead of renovating a current one is that classes will not be disrupted during construction, according to Nash. Post-production will continue in Newhouse Two until the new building is completed. Edit suites will then be moved underground to its new state-of-the-art home and the current space will be renovated to meet other needs the school has including offices, team rooms and classrooms.