Two-and-a-half semesters of construction and $1.8 million later, the newly renovated Swem Media Center has opened for students and faculty. The center was funded by a combination of alumni donations and grants from higher education technology funds.
The Media Center provides similar services to those offered before construction, such as consultation on integrating media in projects as well as an equipment loan and instruction service. Troy Davis, head of media services at Earl Gregg Swem Library, discussed new services and technology the renovated Media Center offers students.
“The media center renovation has finally created a real ‘destination’ for students and faculty interested in how media can contribute to their creativity,” Davis said. “The media center, from its very beginning, has always been a destination for creative and curious individuals; now, with the renovation, Swem has just said it is time to welcome them a bit more formally.”
Davis continued to discuss the newly created Cox and Ford Classrooms and what these two rooms can offer students.
“These spaces are equipped with flexible and comfortable furniture, as well as unique display technologies,” Davis said. “These classrooms will allow Swem to ramp up its already robust instructional services as well as give us new ways to connect with faculty and students.”
The new Media Center has yet to attract a large number of students since its recent opening, but students have been receptive of the improvements made, such as Ub Qiu ’16 who used the Center to create posters for this year’s Earth week.
“I was really excited about [the Media Center] after a whole semester of construction, and then today I finally got to get down [there],” Qiu said. “Doing stuff down here is really cool. … It went beyond my expectations.”
Student Tori Savas ’15, who has been using the Center for her senior music project, had an equally positive review of the renovations.
“I honestly just started using [the media center] this past week, but it’s really great,” Savas said. “It’s got a lot of great programs that are free for students, which is nice because it would usually cost a lot of money. And they’re pretty flexible with their hours.”
Swem Library will host an open house April 15 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. to commemorate the reopening of the Media Center and the unveiling of the Lord Botetourt statue, which was boxed up during the renovation.