When Point Park University envisioned the future for its School of Communication, a key objective was to create a state-of-the-art learning center where students could merge their energy, talent and ambition.
The school’s Center for Media Innovation at the corner of Wood Street and Third Avenue, Downtown will do just that.
“The media industry has evolved from individual labels such as print and television into a massive multimedia effort that requires knowledge and expertise in all disciplines,” said Point Park University President Paul Hennigan. “This is an innovative incubator and collaborative space that brings together a cohesive, interactive strategy to education, while simultaneously engaging a Downtown audience.”
The 4,000-square-foot center, designed by Pittsburgh-based GBBN Architects, will feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls, flat-screen televisions and a digital ticker will offer a New York City-style media hub where passersby can be entertained and informed as students learn their craft.
“Point Park prides itself on offering a real-world, career-focused educational experience,” Hennigan said. “The Center for Media Innovation will play a key role in the University’s mission to teach students to be entrepreneurs and to embrace technological change, while adding another vibrant corner to the important Wood Street corridor.”
When complete in 2016, will afford students access to the latest technology. The center will feature:
- Television and radio broadcast studios. The TV studio will include a green screen, industry-specific lighting, and state-of-the-art high-definition cameras. A radio broadcast booth will share a common control room. Both broadcast areas will be self-contained modules with high-visibility glass walls for a “fishbowl” studio experience.
- Photo studio. The studio will feature high ceilings and light control for the best possible shooting environment.
- Multimedia newsroom. Reporting and multimedia storytelling, along with graphics production, social media, and website and page layout can be conducted through multiple courses in this high-tech smart classroom.
- Transformational presentation and gallery space. The center will open into an event space for networking and educational sessions with newsmakers and industry leaders. The same area also can be used as a photo gallery, offering another space for students to showcase their work.
Also featured in the center will be café-style work stations for editing, reporting and design situated throughout the facility and open to students for class projects, the Point Park News Service, Wood Street Communications, and student publications such as The Globe, the weekly student-run newspaper, and The Pioneer, a classroom-based digital magazine.
The center will act as a critical educational complement to Point Park’s Academic Village Initiative, the multi-block living and learning hub that has helped to transform the urban center into a vibrant place to learn, work, live and play.
Construction will cost $2.5 million to build and is made possible, in part, with a grant from the Allegheny Foundation and sponsorship of Trib Total Media, a multimedia network that publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and six other daily newspapers, 24 weekly newspapers, the Pennysaver and shoppers, the news site TribLIVE.com and various niche magazines, websites and targeted direct mail to reach more than 1.2 million readers western Pennsylvania readers each week.
Richard M. Scaife, the late owner of Trib Total Media, was deeply committed to journalism and its essential role in American life, said Allegheny Foundation Chairman Matt Groll.
“Dick always said he wanted to find ways to help build journalism, not just through the Trib and his other papers, but through the education of future journalists,” said Groll, who succeeded Scaife as head of the foundation in 2014. “This partnership is a perfect opportunity for us to do that with one of his two foundations. It is especially exciting because Point Park’s program is here in Pittsburgh.”
Founded in 1960, Point Park enrolls nearly 4,000 full- and part-time students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs offered through the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication and Conservatory of Performing Arts.