The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication will host Belo Center for New Media tours and a building dedication ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 300 W. Dean Keeton St.
Building tours will meet from 1 to 4:30 p.m. near the first-floor elevators, and the dedication ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. in the second-floor Belo Auditorium. The tours and ceremony are free and open to the public.
Named in recognition of the seminal role that Col. A. H. Belo played in the early days of Texas journalism, the new facility provides much-needed space for more than 4,600 students. Before the Belo Center opened in August, the College overcrowded the adjacent Jesse H. Jones Communication Center, which was built in 1974 to serve 1,000 students.
With an abundance of natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows, a café and expanded student advising and career services areas, the Belo Center provides a more open, interactive environment. It includes lecture halls, auditoriums, student offices and meeting rooms, as well as spaces for film screenings and conferences for all College departments. A transparent multimedia newsroom complements the School of Journalism’s new digital-based undergraduate curriculum and allows faculty members, parents and prospective students to see the work that’s being created for the School’s student-produced news website, Reporting Texas.
The facility also houses the offices of College administration, the School of Journalism, the Department of Advertising and Public Relations and the KUT Public Media Studios.
“This building represents an extraordinary investment in us by President Powers, Chancellor Cigarroa and the Board of Regents, not to mention the wonderful Belo folks in Dallas,” said Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication. “The fact that the Belo Center is as beautiful as it is functional only adds to our wonderment. This is the most important thing that has happened to us since the Jesse Jones Complex was opened in 1974. We must now do all in our power to remain worthy of our benefactors.”
The Belo Center contains numerous innovative design and sustainability features, and the College is applying to receive “silver certification” from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
It uses recycled and regional building materials, motion-sensitive lighting and translucent glass office walls that filter sunlight. Its landscaping is irrigated from a rainwater collection system and from condensation collected from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
The Belo Center was designed by Lawrence Group Architects, and GSC Architects provided construction documents and administration. Flintco LLC served as the construction manager, and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects designed the exterior spaces and landscaping.
The dedication ceremony will remember the third generation of Belo Corp. leaders Joe M. Dealey (B.A., ’41), H. Ben Decherd (B.A., ’36) and James M. Moroney Jr. (B.B.A., ’43) whose grandfather G. B. Dealey established The Dallas Morning News on behalf of A. H. Belo in 1885. The ceremony also will honor the generosity of The Belo Foundation, Robert W. Decherd and Maureen H. Decherd (B.A., ’73), the estate of James M. Moroney Jr. (B.B.A., ’43), and the Jim and Lynn Moroney Family Foundation.
The ceremony will feature presentations by College of Communication Dean Roderick P. Hart; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; Rosental Alves, School of Journalism professor and director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas; Robert W. Decherd, chairman of The Belo Foundation of Dallas and chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of A. H. Belo Corporation; and Berkley Knas, a 2007 public relations graduate and Belo Center supporter.
About The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication
One of the nation’s foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students, the College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the College of Communication, visit https://moody.utexas.edu.