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Four-year Classroom Renovation Plan To Be Re-invigorated In 2006

Fall 2005

by Larry Gilbert

In the spring of 2006, work will begin anew on renovation and mediation of up to thirty existing classrooms on the 4-Year Classroom Renovation Plan. By the end of next summer, this work will result in Western achieving its goal of having 80% of all General University Classrooms contain Level 4 mediation The renovations will also substantially improve the subjective quality of many classrooms by enhancing acoustics, lighting, and other physical features of our existing classrooms.

construction

The 4-Year Classroom Renovation Plan was devised in 2002 based on input obtained from multiple surveys of faculty need for classroom improvements. Although it was anticipated that classroom renovations under the plan would initiate during the 2003-2005 biennium, capital funding was not available during the last two years to carry out the plan. However, thanks to full funding by the legislature of Westernís 2005-2007 request for capital funds for classroom renovation, up to two dozen classrooms will be renovated and mediated prior to fall, 2006. A second phase of the renovations will also take place in the second year of the current biennium, with completion prior to fall, 2007. [See related article].

Spring Renovations Already Being Planned
As this article is written, planning is beginning on the first round of classroom enhancements scheduled for spring and summer, 2006. Approximately $1,000,000 is appropriated for renovations during this first year of the biennium. During spring quarter, itís important to minimize the loss of classroom seats available for scheduling by faculty. For that reason, classrooms of like size will be paired so that only four classrooms will be off-line at any point in time. When renovations are completed in the first four classrooms, work will proceed in another four paired classrooms. Temporary teaching space will also be provided to ensure that all spring classes are able to be scheduled into appropriately sized classrooms.

All of the classrooms scheduled for spring are located on the north campus. The reason for this is that north campus classrooms are mediated at Level 4 at a rate of only 52% -- even after the Bond Hall mediations planned for fall quarter (see related article). In comparison, south campus classrooms are currently mediated at a rate of 67%.

The classrooms scheduled for spring renovation are:

HH 153 (61 seats) paired with HH 353 (61 seats)
HU 103 (45 seats) paired with HU 107 (35 seats)
MH 106 (40 seats) paired with MH 108 (40 seats)
OM 483 (50 seats) paired with OM 580 (50 seats)

Large-Scale Renovations Planned for Summer 2006 The majority of classroom renovations this biennium will take place next summer, to minimize disruption to class schedules during the school year. The actual number of classrooms completed during the first year will, of course, depend on the bid pricing obtained from contractors. Keep in mind that some classrooms listed at the bottom of the following Second Tier list may have to be deferred until the following year.

Classrooms scheduled for possible renovation/mediation during summer, 2006, are:

First Tier Second Tier
FR 2 (top priority) MH 110 (40 seats)
SL 130 (86 seats) MH 112 (30 seats)
SL 140 (94 seats) OM 490 (47 seats)
MH 162 (42 seats) CH 133 (26 seats)
MH 164 (44 seats) HH 253 (72 seats)
OM 585 (40 seats) HH 345 (85 seats)
OM 587 (40 seats) SL 120 (111 seats)
CH 135 (40 seats) SL 150 (133 seats)
CH 231(35 seats)

All of the above classrooms will receive Level 4 mediation, including the latest electronic teaching podium, media equipment, and ceiling mounted projector. The Fraser 2 auditorium will receive comprehensive physical renovation, including replacement of its seating. All smaller classrooms will receive the physical renovation comprising new carpet, painting, acoustic treatment, and enhancement of lighting and light switching. The Haggard Hall and Science Lecture halls will receive updated teaching podiums, but only minor physical renovation, as their construction is more recent than that of other classrooms on the list.

Meeting Goals for Classroom Mediation
The Classroom Advisory Committee advised last year that Westernís goal should be to mediate all general university classrooms. Given the inevitable realities of available spending, the interim goal of the 4 Year Classroom Plan for the start of the 2007 school year was 80% mediation of classrooms at Level 4. Assuming completion of the entire plan outlined above, this goal will be reached by the end of next summer.

Plans also call for mediation of all classrooms in the new Academic Instruction Center that will break ground this fall. Following completion of that building, plus completion of Phase 2 of the renovation of existing classrooms, mediation of classrooms will attain the 90% level set as an interim goal for the start of the 2008 school year. The best news is for those faculty members who most frequently teach on the north end of campus ñ for the first time, north-campus classrooms will be mediated at parity with newer south-campus classrooms.

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