The Journalism School Welcomes New Stabile Student Center

The skylights contain glass from Mexico. The glazing for the operable door is from China, while the door frame and motor are from Argentina. Like the diverse population of The Journalism School itself, these are just some of the remarkable features of The J-School's new Stabile Student Center. Occupying approximately 8,000 square feet of previously unused exterior space between Furnald Hall and Journalism Hall, the new center and its accompanying café fulfills The J-School's need for designated space for social engagements, study, and events. Students and faculty can now enjoy the natural lighting and view through the center's glass enclosure or, weather permitting, fresh air from its large, double-hung window.

The student center's unique design challenged the project team with the conversion of a set exterior space into something useable and dynamic. In doing so, Joe Mannino, the project director, Structure Tone, the construction company, and Marble Fairbanks, the architects, had to build within and around fully occupied buildings. Building-wide shut downs, such as water and electric, had to be scheduled and performed around occupants' needs. In addition, there were anxious moments in which glass panels had to be lifted-twice-from Broadway, between Furnald Hall and the School of Journalism. All the nerve-wracking moments were worth the end result-a large space for multipurpose usage.

The Stabile Student Center was completed in September 2008. It is the second phase in the Journalism School's renovation, which was preceded by interior upgrades of the school's 100, 200, and 600 levels in 2007. The center is a major gift from Antoinette "Toni" Stabile and the Vincent A. Stabile Foundation.

"It has been my pleasure to help create these new spaces at Columbia's Journalism School," says Stabile. "A great school deserves a great facility, and I'm happy to do what I can to help achieve this goal."