UTA Radio received a face lift this spring by remodeling, refurbishing and redoing its studio. With funding provided by UT Arlington’s Facilities Management and the College of Liberal Arts and assistance from University administration, the student-run, online radio station received much-needed upgrades.
The entire on-air studio was dismantled and then renovated with new acoustic treatments, furniture, flooring, lighting, a DJ station and computers.
“We’ve always had the tools, software and equipment to provide students with the latest in streaming and broadcast training,” says Lance Liguez, faculty advisor for UTA Radio. “This renovation addresses the feel and look of UTA Radio with an updated, professional appearance.”
Jeff Johnson, director of maintenance operations and special projects at UT Arlington, described the remodel as a passion project.
“The renovation looks super,” Johnson says. “It’s a class lab, a student hangout area, a study, a lounge – really, everything is designed for multiple uses. The College of Liberal Arts has a strong radio program, and phenomenal students go through it every year.”
Dana Gibbs Villalobos, a broadcasting and digital media graduate who served as the station manager in the spring, says UTA Radio is a great place to get real-world experience. She hosts a weekly show, “A Date With Dana,” featuring hip-hop and R&B music.
“My favorite aspect about being a part of UTA Radio is you really get the hands-on experience for what it’s like to work in a radio station,” Villalobos said.
A new focal wall in the space displays years’ worth of radio show flyers, including hers.
“It’s exciting to know that future UTA students will see that and maybe it will inspire them,” says Villalobos.
Zachary Smith, UTA junior broadcasting major and sports director for UTA Radio, says there is one thing he will miss now that the remodel is complete: the radio desk that remained from the original studio.
“One look at that old radio desk and you knew that it had seen some things,” Smith said. “It had marks, stains, bruises and chips, but that’s only because it was there for every midnight radio show, every great UT Arlington sports moment and every group picture of UTA Radio from each semester.”