LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications is kicking off the spring semester with ribbon-cutting ceremonies to celebrate the completion of a multimillion-dollar renovation project of Stauffer-Flint Hall.
The school closed the building in May 2019 to complete the nearly $5 million project. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the first day of spring classes, the school plans a ribbon-cutting ceremony for journalism school students, faculty and staff at 10:30 a.m. On Thursday, Jan. 23, the entire KU community is invited to a grand reopening ceremony. Starting at 3 p.m., Chancellor Douglas A. Girod will give remarks, and donors of the project will be recognized.
The renovation project focused on creating a new plaza and front door and extensive remodeling of the first and third floors of Stauffer-Flint Hall. The first floor, which housed classrooms, a conference room and faculty offices, will be the new home for the University Daily Kansan, Media Crossroads and KUJH News. Those student media organizations had been located in the Dole Human Development Center and Anschutz Library.
The renovated first floor also will include state-of-the-art media technology, a 39-foot ticker that will display news and events, and large screen monitors that will broadcast national, local and student media news programs. The main floor also will feature flex space designed for students to gather and study, including bar-level seating along the north wall facing Jayhawk Boulevard.
The third floor of Stauffer-Flint, which held tightly configured faculty offices and a conference room, was renovated into an open-concept classroom space and an updated conference room.
The renovation project also addressed some critical maintenance and safety needs for the building, which is more than 120 years old. The elevator and HVAC system were replaced, and a fire sprinkler system has been installed.
The last major renovation of Stauffer-Flint Hall was in 1982, and it was time for an update, according to Dean Ann Brill.
“The remodel is a wonderful metaphor for journalistic training,” Brill said. “Throughout the building, you can see the pillars that held up these walls for more than a century, much like the traditional values we continue to teach. However, there is a new entrance that reflects the many changes in media that make them more accessible to all.”
The Kansas Board of Regents approved the creation of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information in 1945, and in 1952 the school moved into the building, which was then named Fowler Shops. In 1955, it was renamed Flint Hall to honor Leon “Daddy” Flint, who served as chairman of the Department of Journalism from 1916 to 1941. In 1983, Flint Hall was renamed Stauffer-Flint Hall to honor Oscar S. Stauffer, founder of Stauffer Communications Inc. and longtime supporter of the school. Stauffer donated $1 million in 1979 for the building’s renovation and academic programs.
The current renovation is funded by private dollars and university deferred-maintenance funds.