WNUR will vacate its headquarters in Annie May Swift Hall and permanently move to John J. Louis Hall, according to associate dean of the School of Communication and WNUR Faculty Adviser Rick Morris.
The radio station is moving because Annie May Swift will be undergoing a complete renovation. The departments of Radio/Television/Film and Performance Studies, temporarily relocated to the 1800 Sherman Avenue Building, are expected to return to Annie May Swift in 2008.
The student-run station had been scheduled to move to the basement of the 555 Clark Street building, but that space will be occupied this fall by the Kellogg School of Management for its new undergraduate certificate programs in financial economics and in managerial analytics.
Morris said he hopes to minimize off-air time when the station moves. He expects the station to be off the air for no more than one day.
Benefits of the move include better equipment, including a new on-air control board that the School of Communication's WNUR fundraising efforts have provided the money to purchase. The station will replace the television control room in Louis Hall. “The construction duplicates much of what WNUR had in Annie May Swift Hall so it is not a larger space, but it will be in a studio building built for this type of use instead of in a building built for classroom use,” Morris said.
The new location also creates the ability to work with other student groups and schools on campus, Morris said. Both film and video production are located in Louis, along with some Medill School of Journalism news facilities. He said, “We are expecting a better quality of broadcasts. It will be in a building near other arts uses, so we hope for new forms of collaboration.”
“It's our first time out of the building in 56 years, but there aren't any drawbacks to moving,” said Medill senior Anthony Walters, WNUR's general manager. “We'll get a great new space in a great building that will be a potential home for WNUR for years.”
WNUR has broadcast from Annie May Swift since the station's inception in 1950. Annie May Swift, completed in 1895, was built with an auditorium and classrooms. In 1994, WNUR's studio underwent a major renovation and upgrade.
The station seeks to give airtime to underrepresented music and ideas, according to its Web site, and now plays mostly a combination of folk, rock and jazz music along with news and radio drama. In 2003, Spin magazine named WNUR the best college radio station.