BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Students at Villa Maria College now have access to the brand-new Digital Media Art Center (DMAC).

The school cut the ribbon on its new facility Tuesday morning. It features state-of-the-art equipment for its animation, game design and digital filmmaking programs.

“It’s a big, big day, a big step for Villa — a big step as we continue to be a leader in creating a more equitable and prosperous Buffalo,” Villa President Dr. Matthew Giordano said. “Particularly a big day in our efforts to be the educational leader for all things digital media arts.”

Villa Maria College hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday on its brand new, state-of-the-art Digital Media Art Center (DMAC).

Dr. Giordano said although they had nice classrooms for these students before, they had nothing at this level. Each computer station is equipped with the latest software and an industry-standard drawing tablet — an investment in the growing fields of art and technology here in Western New York.

“Our students are working in spaces that are just like a studio or company that they will be able to work in once they graduate,” Dr. Giordano said. “They have all the same technology, collaborative space, individual space; so we’re providing them a classroom that is going to prepare them extremely well for their careers.”

The center is actually Villa’s old bookstore. When they started the free books and supplies initiative a few years back, they didn’t need the space anymore since everything was distributed at the start of the school year.

“The vision for this space came from another vision that partially transformed this college,” said Brian Emerson, Villa’s Executive Vice President. “We looked at this old bookstore and we said, ‘What’s next? What are we gonna do?’ We wrestled with a few options, we thought about some different things, but there was always clarity that we wanted to make a strategic investment into digital media arts, this ground floor and in these academic programs.”

Emerson emphasized the DMAC is a result of that strategic planning and demonstrates their investment in their students and these programs.

“The DMAC — this project — was a Villa project through and through. From prioritizing its use for the digital arts to its design and construction, this was our project and we’re very proud of it,” Emerson said. “We hope it’s only the first of a few more investments that happen along this corridor.”

Jordan Norkus is an award-winning anchor who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here or follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.