With cupola in place, Communications School expansion hits milestone

Construction continues at Dwight C. Schar Hall and Steers Pavilion, with both expected to open in the fall. 

Construction work at Dwight C. Schar Hall took to the skies this week as crews lifted into place the cupola that will top this phase of the expanded Elon University School of Communications. 

The cupola was lifted in place atop Dwight C. Schar Hall on Aug. 11 as part of the ongoing expansion of Elon University's School of Communications. (Dan Anderson)
The placement of the cupola, completed in multiple stages, is another key milestone in the construction of the new hall that will include new gathering, educational and administrative spaces for the expanding school. Included in Schar Hall once it is completed this fall will be the 230-seat Turner Theatre, a media innovation lab, additional classrooms and communications lab spaces, the dean’s suite, conference rooms, and faculty offices and student engagement spaces. 

Crews blocked off a portion of Lebanon Avenue the morning of Aug. 11 for the tricky process of putting the cupola together and then setting it in place. The cupola was tipped over from its side to an upright position and lifted onto a base. The cupola was then raised by crane over Schar Hall and set in place. 

With the cupola now sitting atop Schar Hall, a final major structural component has now been put in place for the Communications School expansion, with the building now hitting its top height. 


View a slideshow of progress on Schar Hall and visit a blog documenting the overall expansion project here. 

Continued progress on Schar Hall comes as work is wrapping up within the McEwen Building, which has undergone an extensive renovation since students left campus for the summer. 

At the south end of the building, the two television studios are being fully renovated with the latest lights, sets, high-definition video control rooms and other broadcast facilities. The old Studio B will include a large corner window, similar to network news broadcast sets, looking out onto downtown Elon and the new plaza at Lebanon and Williamson avenues. The McEwen basement features renovated and expanded video edit bays, a new sound studio and space for Elon’s relocated WSOE Radio studios.

Still to be done at McEwen is the repurposing of two main-floor classrooms that will remain in use until fall break in October and then be built out as a newsroom hub for Elon’s converged student media organization, Elon News Network, which includes The Pendulum and Elon Local News. 

Work also continues on Steers Pavilion, which will be home to the Imagining the Internet Center, a media analytics lab and classroom, faculty offices and space for students to engage. </p>