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 for the start of classes 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 summer 2022.
Phase Two Renovation Concepts
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 summer 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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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