LOS ANGELES—Bernards has broken ground on the University of Southern California’s new $50 million Wallis Annenberg Hall, which will host the new home for the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Bernards is serving as general contractor for the project. The five-story, 88,000-sq.-ft. building is set to open in the heart of campus in fall 2014. Project elements include a Media Center with a welcome desk topped by a steel structure holding surround digital displays, and broadcast, podcast and radio studios that will showcase student programming, social media and live broadcast news.

The building is named for the benefactor, Wallis Annenberg, president of the Annenberg Foundation and longest-serving USC Trustee, and designed by architect Dan Benjamin of the Los Angeles office of Harley Ellis Devereaux.

“Judging by the first decade of the new millennium, development of new communications technologies will come fast and furious,” says Steve Pellegren, vice president for Bernards Preconstruction Services, in a statement. ”This unique, high-tech university building is designed with the flexibility to accommodate the fast-emerging innovations in communication technologies, while also blending with the campus’ traditional structures. It will provide the equipment and collaborative environment that will meet the needs of communications students for years to come.”