Stauffer-Flint Hall is being renovated for the first time since 1982, with plans to bring all student-run news outlets of the School of Journalism & Mass Communications under one roof.
The renovation, scheduled to be completed by November, will move the front entrance to face Jayhawk Boulevard. The University Daily Kansan newsroom, Media Crossroads and the KUJH-TV newsroom will be relocated to the first floor, bringing them together as the Jayhawk Media Group. However, the KUJH-TV studio will stay in the Dole Human Development Center.
“When you come in the front door, you see the studio, you see the ticker, you’re going to feel like you are part of media happening,” said Ann Brill, dean of the School of Journalism & Mass Communications.
The Bremner Editing Center and the Richard R. Clarkson Gallery will remain on the first floor of Stauffer-Flint, with the Resource Center staying on the second floor, along with classrooms. The third floor will house additional classrooms and open spaces for students to study.
“We decided that the thing to do was to create a buzz that if you walked down the hall, it’s not just classrooms and big offices,” Brill said. “You have an immersive experience.”
Stauffer-Flint was already in need of repairs to the mechanical system, heating and cooling system and elevator, but there was an opportunity to do much more, according to Brill.
“Once you touch something in a building like this it starts to snowball to the point where if we have to do all that we might as well take care of a lot of other things,” Brill said.
B.A. Green Construction, the company who designed the Lawrence Public Library, has been working with head architect Laurel Schwaab as they replace the sprinkler system and mechanical system. Schwaab is an alumnus of KU who graduated in 1986.
“It’s just one of those buildings on campus that has such great character,” Schwaab said. “We’ve been working with the University and state to make sure that we’ve been doing what we need to do to and not changing the character of it.”
The planning began with seeing just how much of the space in Stauffer-Flint was actually being used. The classrooms were only in use 30% of the time and many of the offices used by faculty members were unnecessary because professors work in multiple locations across campus, according to Brill.
“We are, as a profession, bound by our traditions of honesty and fairness that are iconic like this building,” Brill said. “But once you get inside, how we do things is so different and we should reflect that excitement that there is going on in journalism.”