College of Communication, KUT Radio Break Ground on Belo Center for New Media, March 25

Event: Alumni, donors, students, faculty and friends of KUT, along with members of the Longhorn Band, will gather in a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on the Belo Center for New Media.

Speakers and special guests include: Robert Decherd, CEO of the A.H. Belo Corporation; Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication; James R. Huffines, former chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents; Amy Meadows (BS '87), executive director of the Belo Foundation; Melania Melikian, advertising senior and president of the Communication Council; William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin; Vivian Schiller, president and CEO of National Public Radio; and Stewart Vanderwilt, general manager of KUT Radio.

When: 4 p.m., March 25

Where: The northeast corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe streets, across from the College of Communication. (Parking lot F27).

Background: The Belo Foundation of Dallas, Robert W. and Maureen H. Decherd (BA '73), the estate of James M. Moroney Jr. (BA '43), and the Jim and Lynn Moroney Family Foundation in fall 2007 pledged $15 million to establish the Belo Center for New Media at the College of Communication.

The center is named for Colonel Alfred Horatio Belo, the original owner of The Dallas Morning News and among the first to be inducted into the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame.

The $50 million, five-story, 120,000-square-foot building will augment teaching and research space for the college. The new building will feature state-of-the-art classrooms, advanced production labs and seminar rooms, a 300-seat auditorium space for introductory classes, film showings and conferences, and a small café on the first floor. The building will include a multimedia digital newsroom and an agency-grade "idea room" where advertising students can present and critique creative work. The west end of the building will feature a two-story, 20,000-square-foot wing where KUT, Austin's public radio station, will be located. The project is slated for completion in June 2012.

The current three-building College of Communication complex was completed in 1974 to serve 1,000 students and house KUT Radio, which, at that time provided a single service and employed 20 people. Today, the college serves more than 4,200 students and KUT provides services on multiple platforms with help from more than 60 employees.