By Kelcey Norris
Students watched as maintenance workers raised a giant, red letter Y high into the air, attaching it to a newly renovated visitor side of the Arnold D. Stambaugh Stadium.
This symbol rests atop the newly constructed Don Constantini Multimedia Center, a home in the making for the athletics program at Youngstown State University.
Don Constantini, a YSU alumnus and entrepreneur, donated $1 million to construct the multimedia center, complete with radio booths, multiple press boxes and classroom space for the sports telecommunication program.
Kevin Davis, video specialist and part-time athletics communication faculty, is hopeful the center will simplify the process and allow for more in-depth athletics reporting.
“This facility helps out a lot because it allows us to use this master control room for all of the athletics, not just football,” Davis said. “It allows us to use less equipment and only buy the equipment we really need. We’ll be able to buy the best equipment we can afford and use it effectively.”
Davis said some of this equipment for the media center is primarily located in the master control room, the newest hub for all athletics at YSU.
“With a bigger control room, we’ll have seven channels of replay,” Davis said. “We had replay for volleyball, but now we can show plays in softball and soccer, and before there was no room for a replay system in those control rooms.”
Not only will the new facility expand capabilities for university athletics, professional sports broadcasters such as ESPN will not have to use as much manpower to film university athletic games.
“ESPN and other broadcasters used to have to do everything themselves in the control room, but now they’ll want to come here because we have easier access and can do everything for them, especially sports technical students,” Davis said.
Guy Harrison, assistant telecommunication studies professor at YSU, has been anticipating the construction of the media center and what it will bring to the university.
Harrison said he volunteered to teach the first sports broadcasting class housed in the multimedia center.
“It’s the classroom of the future … You can’t get much closer to the action than that,” he said. “Students will learn everything behind the scenes and in the classroom while being in close proximity to the actual equipment.”
In addition to the new control room, students will also have space to interview athletes and coaches.
Monica Kurjan, a junior sports broadcasting major, said she has also been anticipating the new addition of the stadium, which will help further her sports broadcasting education.
“I’m very excited about the new multimedia center,” Kurjan said. “It’s the main reason I chose to come to YSU.”
The multimedia center will also house a classroom for the telecommunication and sports broadcasting students, giving them a chance to learn hands-on and behind-the-scenes operations.
“It’s really important to know everything, especially all the work that goes on behind the scenes,” Kurjan said. “You have to know how to edit your own videos and write your own scripts. It’s really important to understand how the control room works and everything that goes into making the show perfect.”
When constructing the multimedia center, the administration hoped to give students another avenue of experience during their college experience.
“My dream is to be a sideline reporter, and I’m really thankful for the opportunities YSU has already given me and will continue to give me in the future,” Kurjan said. “I’ve been able to do a lot of postgame interviews, participate in a hands-on way with the athletic department and make player-journalist connections.”