The new 105-square-foot building will connect Morehead and Life Halls into a single unit. According to Montclair State University’s official statement on the school’s website, it will feature a highly advanced “newsroom of the future,” media lab, dance studios, film screening room and a 150-seat presentation hall. The Theatre and Dance as well as Communication and Media departments in the College of the Arts will be under one much-larger roof.
A new arts and sciences quad will span from Richardson Hall down to College Hall on the east side of campus. The center pathway will be lined with various types of trees, plants and lights. New seating areas are in development to accommodate Montclair State’s growing student body. Students can already enjoy the first phase of the promenade between Mallory Hall and the new Center for Environmental and Life Sciences. The project will be completed in December 2016.
Until then, students can anticipate having to navigate through work zones primarily in front of Cafe Diem, Morehead and Life Halls. Those needing to access Memorial Auditorium and Life Hall can do so through Memorial’s main entrance under the marquee. Morehead can be accessed through the building’s former side entrance closer to College Hall.
Skyline Way is closed to both car and pedestrian traffic alike with the exception of parking in lot ten. Directional signs can be seen around campus to aid students and faculty around the construction.
Though the new building is aimed to improve the Communication department and the College of the Arts as a whole, students seem to have a mixed reaction to the upcoming addition to campus.
“While the new project will be good for the now growing branch of the university, we seem to be ignoring older branches which have consistently brought in significant quantities of money for the school, like the shows in Memorial Auditorium. The facility is in desperate need of repairs, but is getting thrown to the wayside,” said senior Theatre Studies and Business student Christian Dilks.
“This is definitely a needed addition to Montclair State,” said senior Theatre Studies student Alexa Goileb. “The Communications Department has needed their own space for a long time. The current situation sharing space in Life Hall is overly-crammed. When the Communication students have their own area, it’s going to free up a lot of space in Life.”
The School of Communication and Media is the newest addition to the College of the Arts’ umbrella. Established in 2013 by combining the university’s communications, digital media, film, television and public relations programs, the school now offers 12 undergraduate majors and minors along with two graduate programs. Communications students have the pleasure of working with highly experienced faculty and have state-of-the-art resources including campus radio station WMSC and access to NJTV, the state’s public television channel. Under the new building, the department is expected to grow in both student population and resources.