$700,000 grant from city of Beaumont to bolster updates for LU Department of Communication and Media

The City of Beaumont has recently awarded the Lamar University Department of Communication and Media more than $700,000 to support the department’s plans for renovations, new equipment and relocating the widely known LUTV studio on campus.

Dr. Tony DeMars, chair of the department, said he began working on the proposal for the grant months in advance, first working with Gordon Williams, operations manager for the studio, to identify equipment needs.
“We have a variety of areas where the equipment had not been updated in recent years. We are moving the LUTV studio and it’s an important thing for us to be able to provide better service, better equipment and a better experience for our students,” he said. “When we make the move to the new building, it just makes sense for us to also update the equipment as well.”

DeMars submitted the grant proposal to the city of Beaumont in early November and at the Dec. 12 meeting, it was unanimously voted to award the department $729,000 from its public, educational and governmental access channels funding.

The funding will support updates to production equipment for news operations and film projects. DeMars said that while the grant is a significant first step in their plans for the department, ultimately, it’s just a steppingstone, citing that it’s “just funding to get the project started.”

Aside from providing a unique and interactive learning experience, the department chair said he hopes that the anticipated updates pique the interest of future Cardinals as well.

“It would be great for this to become a media center for the campus community so that people know that we have a modern facility that has high-level media production activity going on,” DeMars said. “As a result of that, I’m hoping that it brings prestige to the department and the university.”