Yesterday they began the teardown of The Center for Media Studies (formerly Heather Hall) on the campus of Fort Hays State University.  Since the mid-80s, Heather Hall served as the campus television and radio station, and hundreds of graduates entered those doors and emerged as news and media professionals.

Heather Hall, named after Jack Heather, the person responsible for launching the FHSU radio and television station in the 1950s, was a very small building; a modest 20’x30′ television studio, a video playback area, a small reception area, and three audio areas (radio control room, audio production, and radio news).  It was often crowded, but cozy.  Years ago, when the Walt Disney Animation Studios was on Hyperion Avenue, the animators were often crammed back to back in small offices while they were creating such classic movies as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, and more.  The animators loved being on top of one another as they could collaborate and exchange ideas easily. I often thought that Heather Hall was the same way.

I spent six years as a student in Heather Hall (4 undergraduate and 2 graduate years), and for the last 13 years I was a faculty member and served for five years as the chair of the Department of Informatics.  Just over two years ago I was part of the planning and development of the new Hammond Hall – the new location of the department that has grown to include Media Studies, Web Development, Computer Networking, Information Assurance, and Management Information Systems.  Heather Hall was simply too small to contain it all, but the new building is large – huge by some people’s comments – and has enough room for future growth.

Hammond Hall, named after just retired Fort Hays State University President Edward Hammond, was officially dedicated this past weekend, and now that homecoming festivities are over and alumni have drifted away, the heavy machinery has rolled in and has taken down more than half of the building in a single day.

I have mixed feelings over the destruction of the building. On the one hand, I’m glad to see the building go, as it will open up the space, and is an indicator that the university is moving forward. Progress!  On the other hand, there won’t be any more students that will have fond memories of working back to back and elbow to elbow as they create content.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

The above image was taken with the iPhone 5, with light processing in Adobe Photoshop.

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher is one of those guys that has always loved comics but never got into them until really late in life - like high school in the 80s. He just missed the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but has been around for every major crossover since. Stephen knows his way around video and film production having been a director, producer, editor, and motion graphics artist for projects ranging from small promotional pieces for Wachovia all the way up to regional videos for the Division of Emergency Management. As a prolific writer, Stephen began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen also freelances for the Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog. When not writing, Stephen shares his knowledge as a tenured faculty member at Fort Hays State University. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. Favorite Writers: Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini, Adam Beechen, Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges Favorite Artists: Dan Jurgens, Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, Freddie Williams III

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