Summer construction on the Wallis Annenberg Hall, Grace Ford Salvatori Hall, the School of Cinematic Arts’ Media Arts+Practice building and other buildings will continue into the fall semester on USC’s University Park campus.
“Of the 56 projects that were in construction at the end of May and scheduled for completion by the beginning of the fall semester … 22 have been completed and placed into service and the remaining 34 are also scheduled to be complete for the beginning of the fall semester,” John Harmer, associate vice president of USC Capital Construction, said.
These projects are the latest installments of USC’s rebuilding campaign, which will undertake even more ambitious projects, such as the renovation of University Village, in the years to come.
While USC students expressed annoyance at navigating campus while construction takes place, they are also excited about the benefits the completed buildings will bring.
“It is very inconvenient both to walk and also to drive around campus with everything sectioned off,” Colburn Trutter, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said. “But I also believe that construction is a good sign. It shows initiative taken by the school to try and improve its campus.”
Among the largest of the facilities that will be open for the start of the fall term is a 62,000 square-foot addition to the School of Cinematic Arts on the corner of McClintock and 34th Street. The addition will house both the Institute for Multimedia Literacy, a minor program within the School of Cinematic Arts, and the Interactive Media Division.
The IML Institute began in 1998, founded by School of Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth Daly with the help of George Lucas. The opening of the new facility in June drew attention from alumni and influential supporters of the USC Cinematic Arts program.
Filmmakers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as well as Zynga CEO Don Mattrick attended a gala reception at the IML building on July 10 to showcase Christie® MicroTiles®, an innovative visual display technology that presents educational information and entertainment interactively. The Microtiles on the walls of the new IML building give a higher resolution than conventional LCD and plasma screen displays.
Kaelin Sanders, a senior majoring in business administration, is concerned that flagship improvements like the new IML facility are not spread equally across different departments.
“It’s nice to see that USC is so focused on quickly improving the campus’ facilities for students,” Sanders said. “[But] I can’t help but feel the projects that the university undertakes have too narrow of a focus… It seems misguided to commit to such large improvements when so few students will be able to utilize the new resources.”
Construction on the 34 ongoing undertakings will finish at various times. One of the largest projects, Wallis Annenberg Hall, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
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