This week the University of Montevallo unveiled Strong Hall, a state-of-the-art facility for its communication department.
Students majoring in either mass communication or communication studies now have access to cutting-edge technology within the new building – whether their focus is on gaining knowledge to enter the fields of radio, television, corporate or governmental relations, multimedia journalism, web-related communication or any other similar fields.
Strong Hall consists of new construction and an expansion to the existing Mass Communication building on the University campus. This new facility brings together the Communication Studies and Mass Communication faculty and students in the Department of Communication.
John Paul Strong ’02 and his father, Mike Strong ’72, realized the needs of the Department of Communication were quickly outgrowing the existing facility due to the rapidly increasing enrollment of communication majors. The Strongs’ donation enabled the Department of Communication to provide students with expanded classroom experiences in a unified space.
The expansion and renovation include a new master control room, audio, video production and edit bay rooms, a new broadcast studio, two computer labs, additional classroom space and faculty offices.
Unique facts about the additions to the facility include:
- 5,700 square feet of additional space
- Five miles of low voltage cabling in the building
- Built on a Ross Video Systems platform, incorporating a 64TB video server and complete newsroom software and hardware system
- Server systems are virtual, meaning less energy and cooling required
“The new space was designed to be a state-of-the-art hub for campus communications,” said Dr. Steve Peters, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “The entire system was designed to be flexible and allow easy connections to all of the rooms in Strong Hall by use of campus fiber and Ethernet to other buildings. The system was meant to support teaching. All of the control surfaces and computer screens that the system uses can be displayed or recorded on any of the screens in the control room classroom. This is a pretty unique feature for mass communication programs.”
Strong Hall now also houses three standalone editing suites. Two are designed for students to work individually, while an advanced editing suite is larger and allows faculty or other students to collaborate and guide upper-level students on their final edits.
The technologies in Strong Hall now also allow both students and faculty to easily move productions around the building or off campus through special applications.
“Strong Hall’s impact will be appreciated at the University of Montevallo by thousands of students for generations to come,” said University of Montevallo President, Dr. John W. Stewart III.
In 2016, Montevallo announced the public phase of their first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, The Campaign for Montevallo: It’s About Family. A main priority of the multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign is to develop facilities for learning, living and competing. Strong Hall is an important campaign project that will support new and upgraded facilities for students and faculty.
John Paul and Mike Strong are also serving as national co-chairs for the campaign and have provided vital leadership during the planning phase.
“My father Mike and I decided to make a personal donation to the Department of Communication and become active in the University’s recent fundraising efforts,” said John Paul Strong. “This allowed the vision for Strong Hall, and it means so much to us that the building is now complete for the students to have a solid foundation for learning.”
Individual spaces in Strong Hall have been named by the following donors: Beth Chapman ’84, John and Laura Fleming ’01, Carolyn F. Johnson, Logista Solutions, Amos Snead ’02, David ’72 and Diane Wheeler, and Kalyn Wolfe ’10.