Beginning spring 2016, students and faculty will be able to walk between the Belo Center for New Media and the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center without ever touching the pavement of the street.
Largely funded by the Moody Foundation’s $50 million contribution in 2013, the Moody College of Communication’s bridge project was approved by members of the Austin City Council in early June and is set to be completed in late February or early March. Moody's director of communications Nick Hundley said the bridge is for more than just the practical benefits it will provide.
“When the Belo Center was designed, it was understood that a bridge between the Belo Center and the Moody College would be constructed if funding became available,” Hundley said. “The bridge provides a physical and symbolic connection between the major Moody College of Communication structures on campus.”
Journalism junior Khortlyn Cole said she feels other issues should take priority over the bridge construction.
“The bridge is a really good idea, but I don’t think it will be worth all the construction that will ensue,” Cole said. “I’d rather see the money go to the underfunded student media here on campus. The bridge just doesn’t seem worth it.”
Managed by the UT System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, the bridge is meant to establish a stronger connection between students and faculty in the college, according to Hundley.
“The Moody Bridge will benefit students, faculty and staff throughout the University who have classes in the two buildings,” Hundley said. “Most importantly, it will foster collaboration among students, faculty members and the various departments and schools in Moody College.”
Journalism junior Briana Santiago said she feels the advantages of the bridge are greater than the costs of construction.
“It seems like a really neat idea, and I think a lot of students will benefit from it,” Santiago said. “It will definitely add to the buildings and the school.”
Moody College interim dean Jay Bernhardt said he feels the bridge project will bring students and faculty together in a way that will allow for a primary learning environment.
“As the worlds of media and communication evolve and converge, our work in Moody College has become more interdisciplinary than ever,” Bernhardt said. “Moody Bridge will bring our people and our ideas closer together so we can create new communication solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.”
Correction: The orinial article incorrectly identified the name of the bridge. The name of the bridge is the Moody Bridge.