ENMU officials excited for upcoming communications center

By Tony Parra

The new communications building at Eastern New Mexico University will be a tremendous upgrade from the current communications building, according to Jeff Burmeister, TV Broadcast Engineering Director for KENW.

Burmeister has regular meetings with Scott Smart, Vice President for Business Affairs at ENMU, to discuss the status of the construction of the new building. The KENW television and radio broadcasts take place in the current building. Burmeister said he meets daily with the construction foreman to make sure there are no problems or changes.

Burmeister said the current KENW building, where the ENMU-student run news is filmed and shows such as Creative Living and Sportslook are recorded, was not originally intended to be a communications building.

He said it was supposed to be a warehouse for the physical plant, but the president at the time allowed the building to be a home for KENW.

“We’re extremely excited,” Burmeister said. “It will be a tremendous improvement. We’re one of the best facilities in the Southwest. We’re able to attract students from all over the region.”

Smart said completion of the 34,000 square-foot building is scheduled for November. Burmeister said after completion, ENMU officials will inspect it to make sure everything is OK so people can start moving in equipment and furniture.

Another bonus about the new building is that all communications classes will be held in the new building. Communications classes are currently being conducted in buildings such as the Broadcast Center, Jack Williamson Liberal Arts building and College of Business.

Originally ENMU representatives were hopeful the new building would be ready by August.

“We’ve lost five work weeks from the summer of 2004 until now because of rainy weather,” Smart said.

U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), who toured the building in August, helped bring $500,000 in federal funding through the Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

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 news and a third studio for general production.

Don Criss, director of production services at KENW, previously stated that the walls and ceiling will be soundproof and those inside the room will not be able to hear anything from outside. He also said a large fan moves slowly in the room to keep from adding to the noise levels.

Burmeister agreed the acoustics at the new communications building will be much better.