BECK: Will Woodson Hall ever be operable again?

Averi-Alexya Beck is a junior mass communication major from Shreveport, La.

Many years ago when Irst toured Grambling State University, also known as “The G”, I already had my mind set on what my major would be; Mass Communications. So while walking across the campus, I of course was most excited to see where I would be doing most of my studies.

I knew I would see classrooms, but I expected more for my future department. I expected to see different types of equipment set up for students to make use of. It did excite me seeing the radio station, The Lab and the Gramblinite room, but those were not what I was most interested in pursuing. I had always dreamt of becoming a news reporter for a big time television network such as CNN. With this in mind, I was waiting to tour a production room. To my dissatisfaction, I was told that because of a ood, every piece of equipment had to be evacuated. At that time I did not know the TV Center had moved to a farther location, the Assembly Center. I just thought it was completely non-existent.

Alan Blakeney, director of the TV Center, says it was much better working in Woodson Hall than working in the current classroom in the Assembly Center. 

“We had more room. The geography was better because it was closer in proximity to the rest of the Mass Communication Department, so students could simply walk across the parking lot and be in the television center,” Blakeney said. “We had a studio that was pre-rigged for the activities that the students wanted to do. You could walk in, ip a couple of switches, and do a news broadcast or a talk show or a single camera project. You do them all right there… It was more compact. Everything was already right there and ready to go.”

The last time Woodson Hall was operational was in 2014 when Dr. Cynthia Warrick was the president of Grambling. The building not only housed the TV Center, but STEM classes as well.

The cause of the frequent ooding is apparent: there is a drainage issue. The building is located in a low point of the campus so water will always ow toward it.

Prior to the recent ood were two consecutive oods: one near the year 2013 and another in the following year. The TV Center was temporarily housed in the Washington-Johnson Complex following the latter, until a fire broke out.

“We bounced around campus. We were in the Performing Arts Center for almost a year and then we moved here [Assembly Center],” Blakeney. “I really hope it’ll get fixed. It’s a lot easier to do my job and do what they mandate us to do if we have that facility. Having a facility, either that one or one like it, is crucial to being able to do a news show, or a talk show, or some of the other things that we know we can have students do. We can still do them. It’s just a lot more dif cult to do them now.”

Moving forward, though buildings on Grambling’s campus are not architecturally perfect when initially built, it is time to make some adjustments so we can have a decent place to get educated and worry about bigger issues.