Extreme Makeover: Willy T: media rooms, renovated labs part of $250,000 project

By Judah Taylor| @JTaylorKernel

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The Hub, in the basement of the W.T. Young Library, is getting an extreme makeover.

Renovations will include a mini studio with a green screen for students that will enable them to create and show professional-grade media presentations, videos and shows.

A recent $17 hike in the “technology fees” each student must pay with tuition is being used to fund the $250,000 project, Media Depot @ The Hub.

The project also proposes four more media editing rooms. Two of the rooms will be designed for audio recording and will be equipped for professional-level audio recording and computer screen capture.

The remaining two rooms will feature 42-inch video screens for displaying presentations, and a camera to capture students giving them.

All five rooms will feature “on air” LED lights, just like real studios, which will warn other students when someone is recording.

Making major changes to The Hub was a necessity, said Peggy Akridge, UK’s manager of student computer services.

“We didn’t have any of the equipment these students needed. … They were coming to work on assignments for these new core content classes. It was like, ‘We’ve got to do something,’ ” she said.

Other changes will see Windows computer and Mac labs removed and replaced with “editing pods.”

Kirk Laird, a streaming media service owner and technical support specialist III at UK, half-jokingly compared the pods to the Starship Enterprise command deck, both in look and function.

However students will only be able to create media of an intergalactic space ship, not command one.

The Media Depot is expected to be in full operation by the end of the semester. Renovations are not expected to disrupt the current operations of The Hub, and business is expected to continue as usual in the library’s basement.