Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
Portales—Eastern New Mexico Universitywill celebrate the installation of a new sculpture dedicated to its ownscience fiction grandmaster, Dr. Jack Williamson, and will also breakground on a $4.2 million Communications Center on Saturday, June 26.
Theformal dedication and installation of the Jack Williamson bronzesculpture is front of the Jack Williamson Liberal Arts Building isslated for 1 p.m. This will be followed by the groundbreaking of theCommunications Center at 1:30 p.m. at the center's future site, whichis located at the Technology Building parking lot across the streetfrom the current KENW-TV station. ENMU's president, Dr. Steve G.Gamble, and Board of Regents' president, Marshall Stinnett, will speakduring the ceremonies.
The bronze bust, located infront of the Liberal Arts building bearing Williamson's name, is inhonor of the accomplished science fiction author and emeritusprofessor. It is a gift to Eastern from Huo Baozhu, president ofShaanxi Five Rings Sculptural Arts Company of Xi'an, People's Republicof China.
As for the long awaited,state-of-the-art Communications Center, it is being made possiblethanks to the voters of New Mexico. In November of 2002, votersapproved a general obligations bond to fund the multi-million dollarfacility.
The center will house both theBroadcast Center, home of KENW/KMTH TV and FM stations and theDepartment of Communicative Arts and Sciences. The departmentofCommunicative Arts and Sciences serves hundreds of mass communications,journalism, public relations and speech communications majors.
The Communications Center willhouse KENW-TV's new digital television production equipment which isexpected to improve the range and quality of the station's broadcasttransmission. It will also house faculty offices and classrooms for theacademic arm of the university. In addition, the center will also holdthe Broadcast Center's studios, instruction television control rooms,production areas, editing rooms and a production studio where studentscan prepare their class projects.
The Communications Center isthe result of years of collaboration between the academic andprofessional broadcast staff and will allow students, faculty and staffto work with the most modern radio and television equipment andfacilities available. KENW and the Broadcast Center have served as thearea's Public Broadcast affiliate for more than 30 years. CoveringEastern New Mexico and West Texas, it is one of the largest broadcastareas in the nation.
The Communications Center is expected to be completed and ready for use by the fall of 2006.