Building Boom Continues at RMU
The brand-new home for the School of Communications and Information Systems (SCIS) is the latest project in an initiative to give each of the university’s five schools its own clearly identifiable home.
This three-story, 53,000-square-foot complex, on the site of the former Wayne Center, will feature classrooms, faculty offices, and studio and lab space for the departments of computer information systems, communication, English, organizational leadership, and media arts.
The new SCIS building will be a showpiece for RMU’s ever-growing campus. The architectural style mirrors that of other newer buildings, such as the School of Business building (completed in 2011), and features a steel roof and a loggia leading up to the main entrance. A large exterior video screen, visible to much of campus, will display student work and messages.
As you walk in through the main entrance, you’ll be greeted by a grand foyer with an ornamental stairway leading to the upper levels. To the left, a café will feature a fireplace and lounge seating. On your right you’ll find an expansive art gallery where students can display their work.
Throughout the main floor will be various media arts teaching environments, a homework lounge, screening/lecture room, general purpose classrooms, PC and Mac labs, photography dark rooms, a wood shop, and a metal shop (new to RMU!). The building will also house its own sophisticated printing facility. The second and third floor will house faculty offices.
“Faculty and students alike are very excited that our department will be housed in new facilities on the main campus,” says Jon A. Radermacher, head of RMU’s Department of Media Arts, which was previously in downtown Pittsburgh at the university’s former building on 5th Avenue. “The new location has already given rise to the total number media arts students, which for the first time ever, has exceeded 200.”
“The new School of Communications and Information Systems provides a beautiful, bright, vibrant, and inviting atmosphere for teaching, learning, and engagement,” adds Barbara J. Levine, Ph.D., SCIS dean and associate professor of communications. “Students will take courses in well-equipped classrooms, computer labs, and studios; study and collaborate with others in homework spaces; relax with friends in indoor and outdoor conversational areas; attend media exhibitions in the gallery, and eat in the cafe. It will also be open to the entire university and members of the community for events like seminars, workshops, gallery exhibitions, screenings, and theatrical performances.
“It’s really a wonderful addition to the RMU campus.”