Newpaper lab, office moving

When people are directed to the Pioneer newspaper office, they are often told to go to the second floor of the Main Building and locate the yellow shag carpeted walls.

Those walls will be dismantled in a couple of weeks when the Pioneer office, lab and a classroom relocates to the former ceramics lab in the Arts and Humanities Building. Construction on the new space began July 1 and should be finished before fall classes begin, said Susan VanSchuyver, Arts and Humanities dean.

“The new space will provide much more room and will house the Pioneer, the Broadcast News Lab, two audio labs and a storage closet,” she said.

The lab space, located near Entry 2, is receiving a total renovation. It was completely gutted and will have new walls, ceilings, floors, rewiring and furniture, VanSchuyver said.

She said there are no plans to secure the new Pioneer lab with window coverings. She said the Pioneer is currently in an open space and has had no problems with vandalism.

When the Visual and Performing Arts Center was developed, the plan had always been to move the ceramics lab to the new facility, VanSchuyver said. It was moved to the VPAC last year.

She said having enough available space on campus and allocating it in the best way is always a concern so the decision as to what would be in the former ceramics lab was decided at the President’s Cabinet level.

VanSchuyver said mass media communications professor Gwin Faulconer-Lippert, journalism professor Sue Hinton and News Writing Instuctional Assistant Ronna Austin were heavily involved in the layout and design of the new space.

“J.B. Messer and Chris Snow, OCCC Facilities Management, were incredibly helpful in the execution of our ideas,” she said.

Austin said she is excited about the move. She said it will be nice to finally be in the same area as the rest of the Arts and Humanities divison.

Austin said a change in scenery also will be welcomed. “I have sat in the same space at the same desk for the last 14 years, so it will be nice to move to the new space.”

Austin said the new Pioneer office will be more secure because they will have a door, but it won’t lose the open, relaxed feel of students being able to walk in and talk to the Pioneer staff.

Summer Pioneer Adviser and English Professor Mark A. Schneberger said he thinks it’s great the Pioneer is getting an updated space.

“By the looks of the architect drawings, the new office will be better looking and more functional than some of the professional newsrooms I’ve worked in,” Schneberger said.

To contact Kathryn Nash, email

Leave comment