An Extraordinary Investment
Watch the Belo Center for New Media dedication ceremony and tours
For almost 50 years, the College of Communication has been nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media.
But until the Belo Center for New Media opened in August, space constraints at the Jesse H. Jones Communications Center often compelled classes and special events to move elsewhere. A lack of gathering spaces did not complement the College's collaborative nature. And windowless rooms put award-winning work out of sight.
At the adjacent Belo Center for New Media, a 300-seat acoustically engineered auditorium allows hundreds to convene for high-profile events. A bustling Student Leadership Suite and café greet visitors as they enter the building. And transparency – especially at the first-floor KUT Public Media Studios and third-floor multimedia newsroom – allow passersby to observe the work that's being done at the College.
In recognition of those who made the Belo Center for New Media possible, the College hosted building tours and a dedication ceremony on Nov. 1 at 300 W. Dean Keeton St.
Named in recognition of the seminal role that Col. A. H. Belo played in the early days of Texas journalism, the new facility provides much-needed space for more than 4,600 students.
With an abundance of natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows, a café and expanded student advising and career services areas, the Belo Center provides a more open, interactive environment. It includes lecture halls, auditoriums, student offices and meeting rooms, as well as spaces for film screenings and conferences for all College departments. The transparent multimedia newsroom complements the School of Journalism's new digital-based undergraduate curriculum and allows faculty members, parents and prospective students to see the work that’s being created for the School's student-produced news website, Reporting Texas.
"This building represents an extraordinary investment in us by President Powers, Chancellor Cigarroa and the Board of Regents, not to mention the wonderful Belo folks in Dallas," said Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication. "The fact that the Belo Center is as beautiful as it is functional only adds to our wonderment. This is the most important thing that has happened to us since the Jesse Jones Complex was opened in 1974. We must now do all in our power to remain worthy of our benefactors."
The Belo Center contains numerous innovative design and sustainability features, and the College is applying to receive "silver certification" from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
It uses recycled and regional building materials, motion-sensitive lighting and translucent glass office walls that filter sunlight. Its landscaping is irrigated from a rainwater collection system and from condensation collected from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
The Belo Center was designed by Lawrence Group Architects, and GSC Architects provided construction documents and administration. Flintco LLC served as the construction manager, and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects designed the exterior spaces and landscaping.
The dedication ceremony remembered the third generation of Belo Corp. leaders — Joe M. Dealey (B.A., '41), H. Ben Decherd (B.A., '36) and James M. Moroney Jr. (B.B.A., '43) — whose grandfather G. B. Dealey established The Dallas Morning News on behalf of A. H. Belo in 1885. The ceremony also honored the generosity of The Belo Foundation, Robert W. Decherd and Maureen H. Decherd (B.A., '73), the estate of James M. Moroney Jr. (B.B.A., '43), and the Jim and Lynn Moroney Family Foundation.
The ceremony featured presentations by College of Communication Dean Roderick P. Hart; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; Rosental Alves, School of Journalism professor and director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas; Robert W. Decherd, chairman of The Belo Foundation of Dallas and chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of A. H. Belo Corporation; and Berkley Knas, a 2007 public relations graduate and Belo Center supporter.
Laura Byerley, (512) 471-2182