Last month, the Moody College of Communication announced the designs for a new bridge to connect the CMA, CMB and the Belo Center for New Media. The costs of the bridge will be paid by a portion of an endowment of $50 million provided by the Moody Foundation last year. This endowment is the largest given to a public university for the study of communication in the nation. In addition to helping pay for the bridge, it will also establish a fund for departmental development ideas, as well as help pay for graduate student recruitment and retention, and department endowments.
While I am not a student of the college and will have graduated by the completion of the bridge next fall, I believe the connecting of the three communication buildings is an excellent idea.
During the cold winter months and blazing hot summer months, standing at the red light waiting to cross Dean Keeton isn’t fun, but it is necessary. Being able to simply cross a bridge above street level makes for a safer and faster alternative. Pedestrians walking or bicycling are normally safe, but being hit by a vehicle does occur around our campus.
I’ve looked at the location that the bridge will span, and it almost appears the designers of the Belo Center planned for this bridge from its inception. The buildings align perfectly, and are high enough for traffic to pass through.
Some have argued the bridge will not be visually appealing, but in all honesty, nearly any bridge will look more appealing than the one down the road near Dean Keeton and Speedway currently connecting two engineering buildings. I do agree, however, that an enclosed walkway similar to the one connecting CMA and CMB would better suit this bridge, and be a more visually appealing design than the open-air design currently slated.
At this point, campus is surrounded on all sides, leaving little room for additional development. Additionally, buildings on campus are already closely concentrated. There simply is very little room for new construction of any sort, and money is constantly a topic of discussion.
Regardless, with the completion of the new bridge, students will have a safer, quicker and more efficient route between the communications buildings. Unfortunately, the only students who will really benefit from this construction are communication students. Perhaps there is another place on campus that can be connected via bridge to make crossing the street safer and quicker. While it may be impossible, I would love to see a bridge crossing the Drag for students coming from West Campus.
Daywalt is a government senior from Copperas Cove.