Southern Utah University welcomed 1,328 new students for the fall 2013 semester, but they weren’t the only newcomers to campus. Joining the freshmen cast was the recently debuted SUTV Studio located in the Centrum, with a completely new look.
The main studio makeover came in the form of bright lights and an updated electrical system that hadn’t been touched since its creation in 1985. It now boosts energy-saving LED lights, more space for student creativity and a new broadcasting set.
“It even has that new studio smell,” exclaimed Lee Byers, television technician and SUTV manger, who has been waiting for a studio renovation since he came to campus more than 20 years ago.
The state of the art lighting and electrical fixtures is dressed up with new paint, refreshed, movable sets and most importantly, space for students to create.
“This studio is a sandbox for students, a space to be creative and innovative,” stated Byers. “Before there simply wasn’t room for students to let their minds run wild because it would get blocked by the large amount of equipment that mobbed the studio floor.”
The renovation began in May 2013 once classes were dismissed and Byers, in conjunction with SUU Facilities Management, undressed the studio, removing sets and equipment that took up space and were no longer usable, according to Byers.
During this first stage, the cleanup crew removed eight dumpsters of equipment and other broadcasting fodder, all in the effort to create a space for students’ imaginative minds to run wild.
“I was shocked and extremely excited and literally jumped up and down when I first saw the new set,” said Becca Eborn, a senior broadcasting major from Bountiful, Utah and executive producer of SUUNews.com. “The look of our resume tapes are much more attractive and now all of us broadcasting students get experience with technology that we will need when we graduate.”
These renovations will further increase the already heightened reputation of SUU’s broadcasting students. For the last 30 years, news casting T-Birds have left SUU and went on to work for news stations such as CNN, ESPN, FOX, KSL and news affiliates from Florida to South Dakota and to Arizona.
Eborn went on to say, “Because the sets are so versatile I can change the look of the set to match the content and mood of what I am filming. These changes in our studio have opened up avenues to be creative.”
This $30,000 upgrade was made possible from College of Humanities & Social Sciences and from energy saving initiatives. The old lights and other electrical equipment was donated to theatre and broadcasting programs at Cedar High School, Canyon View High School, Parowan High School and Parowan Community Theatre.
SUU broadcasting students produce two news and talk shows each week, every Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m., and can be viewed on Charter Cable channel 9 — available in Cedar City.