As renovations of Hewitt Hall continue, the latest installment in a series of progress updates focuses on how it supports the future of the graphic design program and related disciplines.

In the midst of ambitious renovations to create one of the nation's top facilities for broadcasting, graphic design, cinema and screen studies and related fields in the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, a recent look inside Hewitt Hall showed considerable progress. 

Allen Bradbury, director of major projects, noted that 90 percent of the interior demolition is already finished, with resetting the floor plan up next. 

"It's phase one of two and they will do windows and the exterior, do the envelope, do the site work and do some of the interior," Bradbury explained. "But phase two is really where we start to reset the floor plan and get back to the reprogramming of the spaces."

As Amy Enright, project coordinator in facility services, led a small tour of the space recently, Cara Thompson -- an associate professor of art and design -- couldn't help but react by saying "Wow!"

"I've been in this building for years and years and years and walking this today is completely a new experience," Thompson said. "I'm walking through trying to envision the blueprints in here and it's super exciting to see this moving along as fast as it is."

When opened, Hewitt will be a state-of-the-art facility that will offer so many more opportunities for students.

"For graphic design and interaction design, we have everything from your beginning classrooms to really more intimate studios for advanced design students," Thompson said. "We have an animation lab, we have a VR lab, so we're really on the cutting edge of all these emerging technologies."

Melinda Brancato, a freshman public relations major with a graphic design minor, appreciated "the connection with all the other majors especially on the creative aspects" in how the work will benefit students in many programs.

"To take graphic design and utilize that with other broadcasting majors see how they might need it within their broadcasts, and even being among journalism majors as a PR major, it's going to be very beneficial," Brancato said. "It's very jaw dropping. It's a very big building and they have a lot of great plans up ahead. I'm so excited to see it come to fruition. It's going to be great."

Additional information and updates:

  • On all three floors of Hewitt Hall, a significant percentage of the interior abatement and demolition of walls, electrical systems, lighting and mechanical systems has been completed.
  • At the exterior, demolition of many of the site walls, overgrown plantings and trees, and concrete walkways also are complete. The dry early winter weather allowed the initial installation of the new site drainage structures for the south courtyard.     
  • Ordering the many hundreds of new materials and products for the renovation is a substantial portion of the beginning work and is approximately 50 percent complete. Materials for the new roof, new curtain wall windows and glazing, new exterior concrete panels, and structural steel to create the new atrium and new interior stairways, among many others, are all on order.
  • Looking further into Spring 2022, the team will start to see the structural steel for the new interior installed, curtain wall glazing will begin being installed and extensive site work will continue.
  • Everbody involved is excited to see the progress every day and are grateful for the college's design and construction partnerships with the State Univeristy Constructive Fund, Cannon Design, Turner Construction and DCI, who are all working diligently to realize Hewitt Hall’s transformation.