Renovation and Construction Showcase: Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University, WUSB Radio Station


Submitted by: Howard Gunston, Director, Stony Brook Student Activities Center 


Campus type: Four-year, public
Full-time enrollment: 25,989
Project broke ground: Summer 2016Stony Brook students
Project completed: January 2017
Total area: 1,900 sq. ft.
Floors: 1
Project cost: $1.2 million
Funding source: 100% institution
Architects: Goshow Architects – New York City; John Forgarty – Stony Brook University 


WUSB Radio Station: 1,900 sq. ft. 

The Stony Brook University Union had to close for major renovations but the music never stopped at Stony Brook’s WUSB, even though the student-driven radio station was losing its home. Identified as a possible excessive expense in the renovation plan if WUSB was moved out of the union and then back again, the team instead made a new, permanent home a project priority. 

“Basically, we needed to improvise a mini-student union,” said Stony Brook Director of SAC Facilities Howard Gunston. “We needed to orchestrate a complex set of moves involving space, equipment, data, and power to ensure the radio station was moved to a new permanent facility without any loss of airtime or service.” 

A planning team with representatives from Campus Planning Design & Construction, the Division of Information Technology, and the Division of Students Affairs began a search for a space on campus that could house a 24-hour facility in an active, student-friendly building with food, bathrooms, storage for media, emergency generators, roof access for antennas, and a performance space. 

What they found was Stony Brook’s West Side Dining Facility, a Silver LEED certified building. 

“When the union closed, the the main live music performance venue for students and independent bands on campus was lost,” Gunston said. “Relocating the radio station into our West Side Dining Facility has provided a space for students to program live music in the dining hall, hold weekly couch fests with live radio broadcasts and interviews, and also serve as a venue for student DJs to spin tunes.”Stony Brook work

The observable metrics indicate the new location has made it easier for students spend time at WUSB during non-class and weekend hours. 

Students were engaged in decision-making, planning, advocacy, and purchasing, sitting in on facility planning meetings, advisory board meetings, budget meetings, administrative meetings, and community feedback meetings. Student leaders were also instrumental in obtaining funding from student government and helped to do on-air fundraising broadcasts and events. In another innovative campus partnership, College of Business undergrads spent a semester completing separate marketing plans to help promote the new facility to students and on-campus entities.

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