Departments moving to Harbor Hall

As originally posted here.

When USFSP acquired the old Dali Museum, there was speculation about which departments would move to the newly christened Harbor Hall. Reports suggest the departments of Languages, Literature and Writing; Graphic Design; and Art History will make the move.

“We’re all very excited about it,” said Lisa Starks-Estes, chair of literature and writing. “We often dreamed about having a space where students can do group work. We really think the building has a great deal for potential. I know that the faculty over at art history and graphic design feel the same way.”

Starks-Estes said the departments have much in common and being in the same building will help strengthen those ties.

“I think that will provide wonderful opportunities for students on campus to have that shared expertise,” Starks-Estes said. “There’s potential for wonderful collaborative energy and activities in the future being in that building. We’re very happy about it.”

Starks-Estes said some of the space in Harbor Hall is a little different than what is normally found in buildings at USFSP, including a community room, reception area and kitchen.

There will be no major renovations, but Starks-Estes said they would make the best of what is in the building.

“We are still in the very early planning stage, and the discussion is currently focused on working within the current design and layout of the building to provide offices for members of the two departments [LLW and graphic design],” said Morgan Gresham, associate professor. She said both departments see useful potential in the building.

The Department of Journalism and Media Studies was one of the departments under consideration for the move. Robert Dardenne, chair of Journalism and Media Studies, said the building was originally a warehouse and would require more renovations for certain departments.

“You need a very specific kind of unit. It’s kind of oddly configured for academic purposes. You needed a unit that didn’t need a lot of renovation,” Dardenne said. “I think business could have moved in there but I think it would have taken a lot of renovation, because they need a lot of office space. They don’t need a lot of big areas. An obvious unit that could use big areas is graphic design because it has various kinds of studios and there is some nice studio possibilities.”

Dardenne said the journalism department was under consideration because of the studio and lab space the facility offers, but he found the department’s current space sufficient.

“We have a lot of going on now,” Dardenne said. “We have a new online masters program now we’re trying to create and frankly we have pretty good space. We thought if we were offered the space, we would probably turn it down because we have more or less what we need here. It would be a transition for us that given everything that’s going on would be tough for us to make.”

Dardenne said it would be better for a department requiring little renovation.

“It’s a great choice for the people who are going to be in there,” Dardenne said.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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