New School Facility Puts State-of-the-Art Technology at Students’ Fingertips

Public Invited to an Open House on Jan. 19

New audio sound board in the School of CommunicationsWebster University’s School of Communications is home to some of the most advanced communications technology found at any college in the Midwest, offering students access to the same equipment used by many of the top film, video, sound recording and game design companies in the country. The school recently added the first virtual cinema video wall in the region and a state-of-the-art recording studio suite, including a Dolby Atmos studio, to its existing programs and facilities, and is providing students hands-on training with cutting-edge tools in addition to deep immersion in industry-standard techniques.

Renovated classroomMembers of the community will get a first-hand look at the latest technology during an open house ceremony from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Sverdrup Complex on Webster University’s Webster Groves campus. The event will celebrate the completion of the most recent renovation of the Sverdrup Complex, a complete reconstruction of the interior of the building as a purpose-built, state-of-the-art media production and communication education facility.

“We offer our students hands-on learning in environments that reflect the cutting-edge technology being used by the top communication companies in the world,” said School of Communications Dean Eric Rothenbuhler. “Our faculty and staff worked closely with the architects and engineers to make sure that the spaces created reflected the leading edge of industry and would give our students a significant advantage in their chosen fields after graduation.”


With the most recent work, the School of Communications now houses:

  • A virtual cinema system that uses real time 3D software and photorealistic images synced to camera movements to portray actors filmed in the studio, as if they were in anywhere in the real or imagined universe. This technology, as used to film the popular Disney show “The Mandalorian,” allows film scenes for any location that can be simulated to be shot in a studio environment. 
  • An integrated audio suite with three control rooms, including an Atmos room, live sound room, isolation booths, and networking technology to integrate work across the individual spaces and with the rest of the building infrastructure.
  • A new workshop for scene and model building, practical effects, prop creation, game prototyping, and circuit testing for desktop fabrication, gaming, film and audio production.
  • Labs for video, animation, game design, interactive, and photography work.
  • An image and photo studio that supports that latest in digital photography.
  • The Kooyumjian Gallery, continuing Webster’s three-decade tradition of photography exhibition and community engagement in its predecessor, the May Gallery.
  • A new auditorium/screening room with acoustic treatment, surround sound, and video conferencing.
  • Storage, checkout, and maintenance facilities for a $2+ million inventory of professional grade media production equipment.
  • Numerous open meeting and teaching spaces that encourage collaboration.

“When I saw that the school was putting in all this money for new renovations, it meant a lot to me because they care about what you want to do with your career and where you want your life to go,” said Raven Hunter, a freshman in the School of Communications. “And that is honestly the major part of the reason why I chose Webster.”

To learn more about the School of Communications, visit 

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