By Rachel Gobep
Youngstown State University is currently developing the Don Constantini Multimedia Center on the east side of Stambaugh Stadium. It expected to be completed in August 2019.
Don Constantini, a YSU alumnus, helped to fund the project with a $1 million gift to the university.
The center will be similar to a press box and will house a classroom, space for the sports broadcasting program and football radio booths.
Sports broadcasting students will have the opportunity to be in the multimedia center for football games, classes and some of the spaces will be converted into makeshift editing suites.
Adam Earnheardt, chair and professor in the department of communication, said in the early stages of developing the multimedia center the department wanted it to be used more than five or six Saturdays during the Penguin football season. The students will have the ability use it for five or six days a week.
Earnheardt said the communication department wants students to have the ability to work on real, live sports productions during their freshman year. Currently, students may not have the opportunity to work on productions until their junior or senior year through internships.
He said there is nothing better than giving students the ability to be where the action is.
“Obviously, we want our students to have that real game day experience, so what better place to have it then to actually have it at the stadium,” he said.
Guy Harrison, assistant professor of telecommunications, also said this will allow students to be closer to the action.
“Rather than us just discussing things in a classroom setting, we’ll be able to have those discussions in the very kind of venue that they are likely to utilize the concepts we discuss in our classes,” he said. “Also, the center will theoretically enable our students to work with greater efficiency as much of what they will need in some of our classes will be housed under a one roof that happens to be conveniently located near our greatest partner to date, YSU Athletics.”
Earnheardt stressed the importance of students and faculty mingling with YSU Athletics and Sports Information staff on a daily basis.
“Those are the people they’re going to learn from,” he said.
Harrison said the communication department hopes the center will become a staple of the sports broadcasting program.
“Covering, shooting and editing sports content will all be more convenient as a result of the center,” he said.
Harrison said he looks forward to teaching in the new setting.
“It won’t just be more convenient for our students but for their instructors as well,” he said. “The materials and venues required to deliver our curriculum will be more easily accessible and the center will symbolize for our students just how seriously we take our program.”
John Hyden, associate vice president of facilities maintenance, said the best part of the new center is that the sports broadcasting program will use it as their “laboratory.”
He said although the construction of the multimedia center may be inconvenient right now because the east side of Stambaugh has been closed, it will give the stadium itself a different feel.
“Students that get involved in going to the games, enjoying the games and participating [as] a fan. I think when it’s all said and done … it’s going to be a whole lot more exciting,” he said.
Harrison said if students have a passion for sports, talking about sports or “are intrigued with the process of providing electronic sports media content” they should look into the sports
broadcasting program at YSU.
“If students don’t think they’d be comfortable on camera, we can show them the ropes behind the scenes, and if there are students who have always dreamed of being on the air, we prepare students for those types of careers as well,” he said.
Hyden said the multimedia center was designed by MS Consultants, Inc., a local architectural, planning and engineering firm, and the general contractor on the project is Murphy Contracting Company.