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Melnick Hall plan for YSU telecommunications and journalism hub shelved

Published: Thu, February 27, 2014 @ 11:12 a.m.

Melnick Hall plan for YSU telecommunications and journalism hub shelved but WYSU will move

Melnick Hall plan for YSU telecommunications and journalism hub shelved


Plans to turn Melnick Hall into Youngstown State University’s journalism and telecommunications hub have been shelved and only WYSU will move into the building.

In fall 2012, the university decided to renovate Melnick to house the journalism and communications departments and activities — journalism and telecommunications department, now in DeBartolo and Bliss halls, respectively; the Jambar student newspaper, which is in Fedor Hall; the NewsOutlet, housed in Smith; WYSU which is in Cushwa and Rookery Radio, now in Kilcawley Center — under one roof.

The $5.3 million project was to include $2.5 million in state capital funds with the remainder coming through fundraising and bond proceeds.

The university’s office of development secured about $900,000 in commitments and believes about $100,000 more could be secured.

“But that will be it,” Randy J. Dunn, YSU president said at a finance and facilities committee meeting Wednesday.

That would mean the university would need to use $1.9 million in bond proceeds to complete the project, while other facilities across campus need updated as well.

John Hyden, executive director of facilities, said another option is to use the money raised for the project and the capital funds to move WYSU into Melnick, repair the roof, add an elevator and make the remainder of the building suitable for general use. The money raised was through a WYSU campaign and Hyden said that the state controlling board is reluctant to move money from one project to another once it’s been allocated.

Committee members voted for that option, freeing the bond proceeds for other projects.

Documentation submitted to the committee listed several needs including campus-wide concrete, restroom renovations, Bliss Hall interior renovations, upgrades to the university’s electrical substation, boiler replacement, Ward Beecher greenhouse and mechanical system upgrades.

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