By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Delays in construction of a new communications building at Eastern New Mexico University due to rain means the department won’t be able to offer communications classes in the new building until the spring of 2006.
Scott Smart, vice president of Business Affairs, said construction of the building was scheduled to conclude in late August. Smart said the completion date has been pushed back to October.
“The beauty of it is that we have the luxury of space to be able to conduct the classes,” Smart said. “It’s not as time-sensitive as if we didn’t have the space.”
According to Smart, the 34,000 square-foot building will be operational for classroom instruction, broadcast and radio use for the spring semester.
Don Criss, director of production services, said the conversion from analog to digital technology is a major advancement. Criss said there will be three studios in the new building, one for instructional use for students, the second studio for use for the KENW students to broadcast the TV news and a third studio for general production.
“The students get hands on experience to the digital technology,” Criss said. “When they graduate, they’re ready to go out to the workplace. Eventually everything is going to be converted from analog to digital.”
Lonzo Lassiter, an ENMU senior majoring in broadcast production, said the conversion is a big reason why he will do his graduate school work at ENMU.
“We’re (staff and students) very excited about the conversion,” said Lassiter, who has used the digital camera and digital-editing computer already. “It’s a lot more work to edit with analog. The picture quality is much better with digital. I don’t know of any other station at a school that will be state of the art.”
Criss said the digital technology makes it much easier and faster to edit tape.
Criss said another benefit is that the communications classes will be conducted in one building instead of spread out in buildings such as the Broadcast Center, Jack Williamson Liberal Arts building and College of Business.