"Breaking Ground" event for new home of USC journalism school - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

"Breaking Ground" event for new home of USC journalism school

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

With the help of Cocky and his sledgehammer, the University of South Carolina celebrated "breaking ground" Monday for the new home of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Dean Charles Bierbauer called it "breaking ground" instead of a groundbreaking since instead of shovels, he used video technology to show the transformation of an old building into the future home of the school. 

"It's new ground for addressing the new digital media," he said.

The university will renovate the former Health Sciences building on the Horsehoe, at the corner of Greene and Sumter Streets, into the new home for the school. The School of Journalism and Mass Communications has been in the ground floor of the Carolina Coliseum since 1969.

"It's time to move back into the center of campus," Bierbauer said. "To bring the school of Journalism and Mass Communication out of the ground floor of the Coliseum and back into the middle of campus, I think it speaks a lot to what we do and what role we play at the university."

Crews are renovating the 54,000 square-foot building into learning space that will include state-of-the-art technology. Thanks to a $1.5 million donation, the current greenhouse in front of the building will be renovated into a 1,400 square-foot studio.

"What all of us in the school want to do is create a facility that's going to be enduring," said Bierbauer. "It's going to be enduring because it's going to be highly flexible."

The $25 million project is expected to be completed by August of 2015.

"We're now at a point where we can see things really happening," he said. "I think it will be extraordinarily beneficial not just to the school of journalism but also a way of showing what the university is committed to doing in the ever changing field of communications."

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