Jon Rust, Rex Rust, and Gary Rust II were awarded the John Boardman Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation Award last night for their successful rehabilitation efforts in partnership with Southeast Missouri State University to create the Rust Center for Media along “media row” in the heart of downtown Cape Girardeau at 325 Broadway.
Originally built in 1964 as a savings and loan association, the 325 Broadway property took a modern twist in 2014 when it became the Rust Center for Media. The Center, which opened last fall, was the result of a collaborative partnership between the Rust family and Southeast to house Southeast’s student newspaper, The Arrow, along with the University’s television and video production programs.
The John Boardman Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation Award recognizes the efforts of individuals, organizations, institutions and businesses in the preservation of historic commercial structures and enhancement of the city’s built environment through successful rehabilitation or restoration
The award was presented at the Old Town Cape, Inc., Annual Dinner at the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center. Six awards were presented recognizing the outstanding volunteers, projects, business owners and residents who make the Old Town Cape district an increasingly attractive place to live, work and play.
The Rust Center for Media was named in honor of Gary W. Rust, an American entrepreneur who built a small weekly newspaper in Cape Girardeau into a network of newspapers, digital sites and radio stations in nine states. A seven-figure gift enabling the naming of the Center was made by Gary and Wendy’s sons Rex, Jon and Gary, Jr. and their spouses Sherry, Victoria and Suzuyo, respectively, to honor their father and father-in-law.
The Rust Center for Media encompasses more than 13,000 square feet of space on two floors of a building leased to the University by Rust Communications. The Rust Center for Media has become a pivotal point of the Cape Girardeau media district that includes the Southeast Missourian newspaper and rustmedia next door and KFVS12, River Radio and the Marquette tech tower across the street.
The main floor features 6,300 square feet with a flexible learning space as well as production studios for students enrolled in television directing and advanced video production. The lower level contains 6,700 square feet and houses The Arrow; SECreative, Southeast’s student advertising firm; and Riverfront PR, Southeast’s student public relations firm.
There are workspaces for audio production, podcasting, photo production, webcast production and content creation. The building offers various meeting areas along with a floorplan to encourage teamwork among students and faculty as well as the ability to connect multiple digital devices to each other as well as to TV monitors.
The space was designed to enable multimedia storytelling for 2016 and beyond. The Center offers opportunities for students to work together with other students as well as with Southeast’s media partners. Through a contractual agreement, the Southeast Missourian provides professional guidance for production of The Arrow – both its print publication and website. Southeast also has a contractual agreement with KFVS12, which allows Southeast students to produce news and public affairs programming to air on WQWQ, the CW affiliate of KFVS12.
The launch of the new Rust Center for Media is part of a major retooling for Southeast’s Department of Mass Media.