The west wing of Sverdrup will be rebuilt as a state-of-the-art media production and communication education facility, providing our students the most up-to-date and unique technology in the entire region.

This construction is the second phase of the Sverdrup “reimagining” campaign. Phase One was completed in 2018 and introduced new studios, interactive classrooms and spaces designed to encourage student-faculty collaboration. The completed work was applauded by students, faculty and staff and earned a design award from the community.

The next phase of construction began on Feb. 1, 2022 and is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2022.

State-of-the-Art Media Production and Education Facility

The remodeled west wing of the Sverdrup Building will house a state-of-the-art media production and education facility, meeting industry standards, and including unique, first-in-the-region technologies and capabilities. Studio facilities will include an audio and video production/recording suite, sound stage, workshop space, photography studio, gallery, animation, game design, and video post-production labs as well as flexible teaching spaces. The Sound Stage will include an LED Video Wall for virtual cinema production, providing our students experience with the newest techniques in film, television, and commercial video production. This major upgrade will support our faculty and students in pursuing the highest quality media and communication work in the region, and give our students important professional advantages in their post-graduation life.

Phase Two renovations are expected to be completed by late 2022.

Phase Two Renovation Concepts

sound stage with LED video wall
west wing first floor
studio control room A
student lounge
sound stage with LED video wall
Photo Gallery
digital technology classroom
audio studio live room
sound stage with LED video wall

Construction Updates

During construction there will, of course, be a few inconveniences. Starting Feb. 1, the whole west wing of the building is off limits until the construction is completed by late 2022. During the construction period, the University will publish regular “construction updates” as part of the Webster Today newsletter for faculty and staff as well as posts in School of Communications communications and the University's public newsroom. These updates will inform the community about what is happening in the building and also warn of potential work that could cause excessive noise, dust, power disruptions or other inconveniences.

Sverdrup Construction Nearly Complete - Oct. 4, 2022

Installation of the new state-of-the-art equipment will occur during the fall break.

  • Future bathrooms in the process of tiling, with grout and tile cutter
  • Worker paints door trim in entryway between two rooms
  • Construction materials in black-painted room with wood wall.
  • Stack of wood paneling in large room with construction team
  • Outer hallway with some installed inner windows and drop ceiling lights
  • workers install horizontal wood planks on wall
  • Wooden cube wall in black room

Construction Completed on Second Floor of Sverdrup - Aug. 18, 2022

The new second floor opens to students on Aug. 22 with new classrooms, new labs and the new Kooyumjian Gallery preparing for its first show.

  • room with red patterned carpeting, glass entry door, two ladders
  • white gently turning hallway lit up with ceiling tracklights aimed at walls
  • new water fountain with two levels and water bottle station
  • stationary camera gimbal  in centerof room
  • finished hallway with white walls, polished concrete, glass doors
  • corner room with gray walls and windows and white round table and chairs
  • Professor AuBuchon and students in new computer lab
  • New photo gallery with first show photos staged for mounting

Sverdrup Construction Update - July 19, 2022

The second floor of Phase Two of the Sverdrup Complex remodel is nearly complete. Last week, construction crews began polishing the floors and finishing the painting in the newly configured classrooms and photo gallery.

The first floor also shows significant progress, with drywall installation nearly completed for its new creative spaces.

Drywall, ventilation, internet wiring and some painting is underway in this phase of the West Wing renovation.

  • Entrance from stairwell with fresh concrete and acoustic tiles
  • Construction crew works on overhead piping
  • Drywall attached to steel frames
  • Interior room showing backside of drywall from other rooms
  • Corner room partially completed with one wall painted white the other black
  • Strip of paint test patches on wall of shades of black and white
  • Interior of large multi-story room with insulation and acoustic insulation installed
  • Early finishing stage of room with metal support beams painted black
  • Hub hallway view from interior half stairs

Sverdrup Renovation Update - Power and Data Interruption Planned for April 30

As part of the renovation plans to support the future high-tech features in the West Wing, power in the Sverdrup Complex was briefly cut off on Saturday, April 30. Additionally, a data switch was relocated Saturday morning.

Walls, doors, white boards, furniture and many other items were quickly removed from both floors in March. Drywall installation started last week on the second floor while on the first floor, works crews have dug trenches in the floor for the new electrical and data conduits that will support the many high-tech features planned for the building.

  • Room with drywall removed from one wall showing steel supports
  • Dusty film processing sink showing miscellaneous bits of room deconstruction around it
  • Whole room shot from ceiling, with insulation falling and lighting bars and more laying on floor
  • Long view of side of building with walls between rooms removed, steel cross beam supports showing
  • Steel skeletons of rooms with wiring in ceiling
  • Trenches dug into concrete floor with piping running in it
  • Ladder in room with sheets of drywall in a stack; room shows steel supports
  • New wiring runs through ceiling
  • Construction crew walks through renovation area

The Spring 2022 episode of “Webster Insider” contains several stories about Webster University, the Webster Groves campus and the greater St. Louis area, including an update on the Sverdrup Hall renovation.

Architectural renderings the Sverdrup West Wing show the planned renovations and additions to the space. These include the new soundstage, live room, three studios, two connected makerspace rooms, and image studio. Explore the planned floorplan (PDF).

Construction Starts on Phase Two of the Sverdrup Renovation

The renovation of the west wing of the Sverdrup Complex, home to Webster University’s School of Communications, has started. Communications staff, faculty, student employees, information technology and facilities employees worked together to remove furniture and equipment, either to temporary quarters in the east end of the building or to storage in the weeks since fall classes ended. The construction crew took over the space on Feb. 1, making safety arrangements first, and now they have begun with the demolition.

  • Empty hallway with gray carpet, white walls, and wood doors and frames.
  • A large room with stepped-down floor, projector screen, and sliding whiteboard is cleared of rows of theater seats
  • An opened door with a "Broadcast Journalism Newsroom" sign shows the far wall with words written on it and floor with taped-off areas.
  • Two white walls show black adhesive remnants from removed soundproofing materials.
  • A large room with two open office areas at the far end is shown emptied of equipment and furniture.
  • An empty room with white walls, wooden trim, and two large windows showing Webster Groves campus.
  • A large empty room with two wood-framed windows and rows of display lights shining on either sidewall.
  • A dark, empty hallway intersection with darkened display lights on the ceiling.
  • A door with a small whiteboard attached with a drawing of a cat, sun, cloud with lightning streaking from it, and a cartoon face with the words, "RIP Sverdrup West Wing."

All classes normally scheduled in the west wing of the building have been relocated elsewhere in Sverdrup or other buildings on the Webster Groves campus. The relocation affects SV 123, 131, 135, 139, 143, 247, 254, 256, 258, 260 and 262, including the TV Studio, Audio Studio A, Live Sound Room, Studio B and all adjacent areas. The Photography Studio and Darkroom are temporarily unavailable. Digital photography work is supported in SV 204 and 205. Faculty offices have been relocated from the west wing.

Starting Feb. 1, the loading dock and all entrances on the western end of Sverdrup will also be inaccessible. Those needing to load equipment in or out should use either of the two atria.

Professional Learning Environment That Supports Creativity and Innovation

Continuing the goals of Phase One, this complete reconstruction of the west wing of the building will provide students a professional environment designed to support creativity and multi-media, interdisciplinary work, mirroring the top companies in the industry.

In addition to the studios, labs, and classrooms described above, the new west wing will include a new photography gallery, an office and practice room for Debate and Forensics, video conferencing in multiple rooms, and both public and private meeting spaces will be provided. The functionality and aesthetics of the Phase One remodeling, completed in 2018, will be carried through, including the full networking capability for every room internally and externally.

student media lab classroom
sound recording booth
sound production studio
news desk
game testing and film media critique room
the radio station and podcast facility
classroom with work desk and computer stations
media classroom
video recording studio
students working with video camera
student at media lab classroom presentation desk
one of the student work areas
computer classroom
classroom set up with hybrid teaching capabilities

Investing in the Future of Communications

Webster University is investing in the future of our students to prepare them for the exciting, ever-changing field of communications, including its constantly evolving equipment. The School of Communications’ Media Center, remodeled in summer 2021, offers students use of its extensive range of classic and state-of-the-art media production equipment.

Access to equipment gives our students experience using professional-level equipment and facilities in audio production, animation and film and video production. Students work with state-of-the-art equipment as early as their freshman year. The School of Communications evaluates equipment needs on an ongoing basis. Students work with a range of tools to better prepare them for the variety of equipment they may find in the professional world. The School invests in state-of-the-art technology and teaches students the latest techniques, so they are ready for their chosen professions after they graduate.

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