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Award-Winning Communication Studies Program Welcomes New Media & Communication Center

Karambelas Media and Communication Center
Wilkes University's newest facility, the Karambelas Media and Communication Center, officially opened with a dedication ceremony on Aug. 31. The $4 million, 14,000-square-foot center will house the communication studies program, consolidating all scholarship and activities into one modern facility where students can collaborate across media disciplines.

The 14,000-square-foot center is located at 141 South Main St., continuing to expand Wilkes' presence in downtown Wilkes-Barre. It brings the communication studies departments' co-curricular activities under one roof. These include WCLH Radio, Wilkes Now Television, The Beacon student newspaper, the student-run public relations agency Zebra Communications and the speech and debate team. The facility includes offices and work rooms for the student organizations, as well as state-of-the-art television and radio studios, audio rooms, faculty offices and classrooms.

Engineering and architecture was developed by Borton-Lawson which has an office located in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania.

Production Control

The Production Control suite offers a modern workflow with state-of-the-art equipment and atmosphere which fosters a positive learning experience for the students. Positions include character generation for on screen graphics and lower third titles, scripting, audio mixing, a 2 M/E broadcast video mixer, digital media control, and content scheduling playback.

Production control consists of a BlackMagic Design ATEM 2 M/E live broadcast 4K switcher with a 2 M/E broadcast panel control surface, BlackMagic Design HyperDeck Pro2 for record/playback, BlackMagic Design SmartScope Duo 4k monitors with waveforms, Data Video PCRM-300-350 character generator and graphics, Personus 24 channel Studio Live digital audio mixer, and 15 wall mounted displays which displays sources, graphics, preview and program outputs.

Television Studio

The primary goal of the television studio space was flexibility hence the ceiling truss array were divided into six sections. Four 12 foot by 12 foot sections and two 8 foot by 12 foot sections. Additional pipe and clamps were installed in each truss section to allow for flexible fixture placement. Each truss section has four dedicated 20 amps circuits located on each corner block. From there power is distributed via PowerCon four tap with loop out power blocks which feeds the fixtures within the truss segment. Chauvet was chosen as the lighting sources because of the wide range of fixture types, achievable color saturation and temperatures.

These fixtures include the Ovation F165WW, Ovation E260WW, Ovation B2805FC, COLORDASH S PAR1, Maverick MK2 Wash and MK2 Spot. A ChamSys MQ80 lighting console is used to set the scenes and control each space within the studio. Cameras for the studio are BlackMagic Design Studio Camera 4K with Panasonic Lumix GX VarioPZ lens and Manfrotto RC EX remote kits.

Viewing Room

The viewing room, which is located outside the television studio and down the hall, is one of the destinations from the 40 by 40 12G SDI router located in the master control room. The room is used by students to view active productions, review final edits, to watch external system feeds or live news.

The display is a Sharp 90 inch PN-LE901 with audio being provided by an Onkyo HDX surround sound system. Local connections for a guest laptop have also been provided. A Crestron DMPS3-4K-150C control processor was chosen to handle the signal processing and routing. A Crestron DM-RMC-Scaler was used to feed the Sharp display panel and a 7 inch touch panel display was used as the control surface.
Finally we installed 16 Sherpa Academy Blue theater style seats to complete the viewing experience.

News Room

The news room is located on the corner of the main area and down the hall from the television studio. This space allows students to gather to discuss information on latest news topics being displayed on the three displays.

This space also offers connectivity for local content to be presented on the center display and is controlled by a Crestron 7 inch touch panel.

"The nature of today's academic environment is that each major now requires specific technology to meet the demand of students heading into fields increasingly dependent on technical expertise. In addition to locating all of the Communications department's resources in one building, the Karambelas Center also allows us the opportunity to bring this technology up to date and give this group of students additional resources so that technology is a regular part of their experience at Wilkes, both in and out of the classroom"- Matthew J. Koch, Director Tech Development Information Technology Services

Exterior Camera

An exterior roof top camera was installed as a source into the 40 by 40 12G SDI router which is used to bring the newly renovated walkway and surrounding spaces in to building for capture and distribution.

Control of the all-weather PTZ camera are located down in the master control room along with the additional system inputs such as HD tuners and five additional feeds located throughout the building complex.

"The work is top notch, and everyone on your crew was incredibly helpful. We threw many curve balls at you, and you responded every time. Installing the lights and lighting trusses, mounting over 20 monitors in Production and Master Control, work in the news room, class rooms, and viewing room, seemed impossible given the timeline we gave you, but you did it! Everything is working great, and thanks for all the training. The Students are thrilled to be able to use the new production control and TV studio." - Daniel J Mattern, Chief Engineer Television Center

Additional AV

Additional audio-visual was completed throughout the new complex which included classrooms such as room 135 which features a fully equipped teacher station, a Crestron control system with 7 inch touch panel integrated into the wall, Panasonic PT-VZ570 laser projector, Da-Lite 60 inch by 96 inch recessed motorized screen, Extron Electronics Flat Field ceiling speakers, Elmo document camera, Vaddio Zoom Shot PTZ cameras, StepView pressure sensitive mat, camera controller and ceiling mounted microphones. The classroom is used for traditional learning with lecture capture as well as distant learning.

Digital signage solutions have also been deployed throughout the complex. BrightSign digital media appliances were used to drive the displays and run content during scheduled times.

About Wilkes University
Founded in 1933, Wilkes University is a private, co-ed, comprehensive institution. The university is located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
The campus encompasses thirty-five acres and includes eight academic buildings, 20 residence halls, nine administrative buildings.

To continue the Wilkes tradition of liberally educating our students for lifelong learning and success in a constantly evolving and multicultural world through a commitment to individualized attention, exceptional teaching, scholarship and academic excellence, while continuing the university's commitment to community engagement.

Wilkes University will provide exceptional educational experiences that transform students and develop innovations through scholarly activities that lead to national recognition and shape the world around us.

For more information, visit

About Borton-Lawson
What began as Borton Engineering Associates, Inc., a two-man engineering firm, employing Christopher Borton and Thomas Lawson, has grown to become a Top 500 ENR firm with offices throughout Pennsylvania. Borton-Lawson has seen continued growth throughout its history, but remains proud to be an organically grown and sustainably built business.

For more information, visit

About JP Lilley & Son, Inc.
Established in 1928 as one of the nations first audio visual companies and a founding member of NAVA ( National Audio Visual Association) the predecessor to INFOCOMM International who recently became AVIXA (AudioVisual and Integrated eXperience Association).
JP Lilley has been providing rental & staging solutions and audio visual sales since it was established in 1928, of course at that time period it was 16mm film and projection being transported by horse and buggy throughout the streets of central Pennsylvania. Our rental and staging offerings have evolved into a full service AVL live event production company which elevates our clients experiences with a creative twist.
In 1988 our audio visual sales transformed into a complete design, system integration and control system programming department which continues to offer state-of-the-art solutions to our clients throughout Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
Our staff continue to carry association and manufacturer certifications which include AVIXA, Chief, Extron Electronics, Crestron Electronics, AMX, ClearOne, SMART, Polycom, Cisco, and Columbus McKinnon just to name a few.

For more information, visit

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