Center for Media Innovation reopens

Written By Cassandra Harris, News Editor

On April 11, 2023 the Center for Media Innovation (CMI) had its grand re-opening in West Penn. The CMI had to relocate when Point Park’s lease ran out after the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh sold their building to City Club Apartments. To relocate, the project was funded by the Greater Allegheny Foundation for $1.5 million.

At the event the President of the Student Government Association, Kendra Summers, stated that she was initially afraid to be away from her hometown as a freshman, but the CMI offered an opportunity to become more involved. She was first introduced to the CMI space at Point Park’s High School Media Day. 

“The only journalism experience I had was my high school newspaper and you know that didn’t function as well as it should have, but it gave me what I needed at the time,” Summers said. “I’m happy to say that with the support of my professors and advisors, with spaces like the one we’re welcoming today, and with Point Park, I not only have the confidence that I needed for my writing, but I wanted to work for it, I got a Golden Quill award.” 

She thinks that the CMI is an important resource for any student at Point Park, it’s the reason she came to the university.


“It’s a symbol of the university’s commitment to innovation, creativity and excellence in media education,” Summers said. “With the equipment and facilities, the center will provide our students with unparalleled opportunities to explore and experiment with the latest technologies and techniques in media.” 

The CMI also enables student media like U-View to have a second recording studio outside of the University Center.  According to Zoe Vitelli, station manager of U-View, when the old CMI closed they had to adapt without the second space.

“It’s going to be nice to have a show here again,” Vitelli said. “In general, having this space is really integral to doing a multi studio production.”

Dr. Chris Brussalis, interim president of Point Park, recognized the Allegheny Foundation for donating $2.5 million to launch the CMI and half of that to relocate it. He also recognized other individuals who were integral to the space’s re-opening.

“The CMI in the last seven years has probably become one of the most important publicly facing assets of the university,” Brussalis said. “We are so engaged with the community, we’re doing things in McKeesport, McKees Rocks, we have the new Pittsburgh Media Hub. These things that we’re doing just provide so many opportunities for our students.” 

Director of the CMI Andy Conte opened the event by speaking about the integral impact that the CMI has on the communications department and university. Like Brussalis, he thanked those involved with the re-opening of the CMI and encouraged visitors to attend grand re-opening events in the upcoming weeks.

“There’s nothing better as a teacher and professor than having your students come back, you know whether they’re successful or not,” Conte said.

Designing the new CMI was collaborative between designers and people who used the previous space. Interior Designer Sandra Closson chose the green brick displayed outside the CMI to establish a gateway from the street into Point Park’s campus.

“They wanted the vision for the corner so that they could have a presence that the whole notion of the space, being located here, was that it’s a gateway to campus,” Closson said. “And it’s across the street from the radio studio, so they wanted to make it an integrated part, but they also wanted to, you know, have a fresh face and upgrade.” 

She wasn’t entirely confident in the final design of the space until she had walked through the door on opening night. 

“I think I heard someone say it’s inviting, and I agree, and it also feels like It’s integrated into the Point Park environment and the mission,” Closson said. 

The CMI comes equipped with a video studio, radio studio, photography studio and a multimedia newsroom and is available to be reserved by any major through Point Park’s website under the CMI.