(Tribune News Service) -- Slated to be open for students in the spring 2016 semester, the Evansdale Crossing campus-connector building will house the Reed College of Media’s newest and most technological edition.

The 10,000-square-foot Media Innovation Center is described as “an open, Google-like space” with “high-tech classrooms, hands-on learning labs, a multimedia studio and augmented reality lab, and a media innovation ‘incubator.’”

Its location, according to Maryanne Reed, the college’s dean (no relation to its founder), was part of its drive to collaborate with other colleges — particularly ones on the Evansdale Campus, including the Creative Arts Center and the Lane Department of Computer Science.

College of Media Assistant Professor Dana Coester said the center will symbolically represent the school’s change from a school of journalism to a college of media. And, by collaborating with other groups, the center will move students out of their Martin Hall comfort zone.

The space itself, she said, went through a lot of working groups with students, faculty and industry leaders. The university also looked at other spaces for ideas, including the recently named University of South Carolina Annenberg Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center, and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.The center’s goals, laid out in the 75th anniversary Reed College of Media magazine, include inviting “content creation, discussion and experimentation,” “be[ing] highly adaptable and flexible” and “integrat[ing] low-tech and high-tech elements that symbolize the past and future of media.”

Coester said the center’s main goal is to be a flexible and innovative space that can adapt with the rapidly changing journalism industry. The center’s layout, which Coester said is subject to change, will include a digital storytelling hub, multimedia/augmented reality studio, an incubator and a “blue sky” ideation room.

The idea room, Coester said, was sparked after a visit to The Wall Street Journal’s newsroom as part of the Innovator-in-Residence program. She said the New York-based newspaper uses a similar type of room once a month to brainstorm ideas.

Reed said the new center is the second phase of the college’s innovation efforts.

The first effort was the creation of the Martin Hall-based Media Innovation Lab, which was installed in the summer thanks in part to a $250,000 donation from Alexis Costanzo Pugh and her husband, Jim Pugh Jr.

©2015 The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC