A peek inside the Center for Communication Arts
WILMORE, KY—When students return to Asbury University in the fall they will be pleased to see that in just a few short weeks, the Andrew S. Miller Center for Communication Arts has transformed from an empty brick veneer shell into a 21st century Mecca for media convergence.
As of early June, a person touring the facility can already see the care and precision of the architects and builders have taken to ensure than each space can be used for formal instruction and hands-on practice. For instance, each classroom is complete with a window to allow photography and videography to take place from the hallway. The foyer leading into the black box theatre and sound-editing studio has been designed to look like a city street. The concrete floor will be varnished to allow for students to paint the floor and remove the color for movie and film sets. Massive doors lead from the outside, into the black box theatre and into the studio to allow students to drive in cars for use in the theatre and studio.
"The design of this building is not just functional, it has to work as a movie set," Randy Richardson, director of capital construction. "It has been designed so that whatever students can dream; they can try. They can learn from that experience and take it with them into the world."
When you tour the facility, it is immediately obvious that the architects, planners and construction crews have designed each space for multiple uses. Student news reporters will have constant local and world news available through flat screen TVs surrounding the newsroom. Massive air ducts twist through the facility to allow for quieter airflow, which is crucial to sound production. The back foyer is equipped with lights in the ceiling so students can use the facility for filming. The backlot is designed to look like a "mini-Main St." from the 1940s-1960s era complete with a movie marquee, a row of town homes and Fire Station No. 1, which has been mistaken by many local residents as a new fire station for the community.
In addition to functionality and meeting the needs to current and future students, the building has also been designed with more environmentally friendly features. To cool the building, 40 300 ft. holes have been dug behind the facility for geothermal cooling, a feature that will be more cost effective for the University and more sustainable for the Earth.
Lastly, with the technology, versatility and functionality, the Andrew S. Miller Center for Communication Arts would not be complete without symbols of Asbury’s Christian heritage. Thus, concrete ornamental fixtures of a cross within a circle have been weaved into the building’s brick exterior. To learn more about Asbury University’s School of Communication Arts, visit www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/communication-arts.