Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cronkite at Groundbreaking for ASU School of Journalism, Downtown Phoenix, AZ

Cronkite at Groundbreaking for ASU School of Journalism
By Kellie Hwang ~ The Arizona Republic ~Feb. 22, 2007 12:00 AM

Trust was an overlying theme at the groundbreaking ceremony for the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday.

Trust in the City Council to approve $71 million for the school. Trust in the public to vote in favor of the bond issue that paid for it. Trust in the university for a smooth transition. Trust in developers to keep on schedule. And trust in the man for which the school bears its name.

The six-story, 223,000-square-foot journalism school will be adjacent to the University Center on 411 N. Central Ave. The doors of the new school will open in August 2008 if everything runs on schedule.

Walter Cronkite, who spoke at the packed event at the University Center, called it "a great day, truly a great day." He said the groundbreaking signified "the rebirth of downtown Phoenix."

Mayor Phil Gordon said the school's future journalism students will get to help build a new downtown and report on these changes at the same time.

Chris Callahan, dean of the journalism school said the location is ideal.

"The campus is right in the middle of everything, within walking distance to a big newspaper, TV stations, and major public relations firms," Callahan said.

Another plus, Callahan said, is that "it gives students the chance to cover a big city."

The deadline for finishing the project is tight, but builders are confident they'll meet it.

"We all knew what to expect going into this project, everyone knew the mission and its terms," said Eric Hedlund, senior vice president of Sundt Construction. "If there are any obstacles, they will be overcome. There isn't any other option."

The new school will be five times the size of the school on the Tempe campus. It will also house the Channel 8 (KAET) PBS affiliate and ASU-operated TV station.

Search for a home near downtown ASU.


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