UR moves forward on construction of $12.8 million media center

By NATE DOUGHERTY - 7/9/2012 3:02:24 PM

The University of Rochester is moving forward with construction of a $12.8 million building to house new programs in digital media studies and audio and music engineering, officials announced Monday.

The project, which gained approval of the university’s trustee executive committee, is designed to be a hub at the cross-section of arts, sciences and engineering on campus. The Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation will provide students in the university’s new digital media studies major with a place to gain both practical skills and a theoretical understanding of digital technology, UR officials said.

The building is named for new university trustee and philanthropist Ronald Rettner, who provided the lead gift that allowed the university to begin construction this summer. The building is slated to open in fall 2013.

“Ronald has been a visionary supporter of education for more than two decades,” said Joel Seligman, UR president. “As an entrepreneur himself, he recognizes the importance of hands-on and collaborative student learning and the critical need to bring together knowledge and insights from many different disciplines.”

The three-story, 18,900-square-foot facility will feature an engineering fabrication lab where students can build project prototypes, a multipurpose learning studio, group study areas and exhibit space for students to display projects, UR officials said. The facility also will contain sound and video recording studios, high-end computers and 3-D printers, the latest manufacturing technique to convert digital design software into actual models, officials added.

Designed by the Boston-based architectural firm Goody Clancy, the building will contain flexible spaces for collaboration and interaction. The open design of the facility has a space on each floor overlooking the level below, encouraging interactive work, UR officials said.

The Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation will be located in the Wilson Quadrangle on the River Campus and be open 24 hours a day.

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