October 19, 2018

#SverNow: Alumni reminisce in renovated Sverdrup

Written by John Hund 

The newly renovated Sverdrup Hall was open for alumni to explore as the first in a series of events during Webster’s Reunion Weekend. Webster provided food and refreshments for faculty, students, and alumni as they toured the renovated home of the university’s School of Communications.

Current students, who have been studying in the building during the construction, said they appreciate the new look.  Senior Ellen Warning said she was glad the building no longer looked so dated.

“It matches the [Interdisciplinary Science Building],” Warning said. “It looks much nicer, very clean.”

Dean of Communications Eric Rothenbuhler said he helped spearhead the Sverdrup renovation and was very eager to share the accomplishment with Webster graduates.

Eric Rothenbuhler, Dean of the School of Communications, spoke with alumni over Reunion Weekend about the renovated building. Photo by Ryan Gines

“This is was my first big project,” Rothenbuhler said. “It’s exciting. This remodeling reflects what [Sverdrup] is and what it aspires to be.”

The renovations for the Sverdrup building have nearly come to a close after six years of planning and a year of gutting the interior. Rothenbuhler said the renovation gives media students a contemporary look into the future of Webster facilities, placing it on par with the new Interdisciplinary Science Building.

“It is a gut rehab,” Rothenbuhler said. “Nothing but infrastructure and exterior are left in the part we have remodeled.”

The building opened for the first time in February 1988. Now, workers have removed many of the old classrooms in the middle third of the building to foster a better environment for learning.

The dean was not the only one ready to showcase the fresh remodel. University President Elizabeth Stroble was present at the reception keen to see the graduates reactions.

“This new open layout reflects the interconnectedness of communications fields in today’s world,” Stroble said. “The biggest accomplishment is providing students with the same level of facilities and equipment that will be found in their fields.”

Rothenbuhler and Stroble both emphasized how the open design is supposed to reflect the collaborative nature of the field of communications. They said multi-purpose media rooms and efforts to restore the once state-of-the-art condition of the building will bring students of different fields together.

Students like Ethan Canby, a junior studying Film and Television production, still wait for the construction to be over. Canby said he uses the building regularly and hopes the work will end soon.

“I’m glad it’s finally open,” Canby said. “I wish it was finished though.”

Official completion of the revamp is slated for October 16.

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