Construction continues across campus

Brianna Marshall, Senior Writer

The University has welcomed many changes on campus in the past academic year. New construction projects are already under way for 2015, with short-term plans for renovations to Roberts Hall and Carnegie Building, as well as a long-term goal of creating an additional academic building, Academic East. These improvements are in direct response to academic needs and will hopefully improve the quality of student life.

 

In recent years, the average course load for a University professor has decreased from six courses to five courses per semester in an attempt to enhance student learning, As a result, approximately 35 to 50 new faculty members have joined the University community, creating a need for more faculty offices and classrooms. Academic West is now meeting these needs with close to 65 offices and approximately 16,200 square feet of classroom space. After its establishment, the main quad has become dedicated almost exclusively to humanities and social sciences.

 

The Carnegie Building, currently home to a wide range of courses and disciplines, was at one time the campus library, prior to the construction of Bertrand Library. Founded in 1905, it is considered to be a historical landmark on campus. Therefore, while the building is in need of renovation, measures are being taken to restore it to its original purpose. The renovated Carnegie Building is expected to be completed by Jan. 2016 and will become a student support space. Student services such as the Writing Center, the Teaching and Learning Center, and Accessibility Resources will be relocated to offices on the periphery of the building while the building’s center will become an open student study space.

 

“What would it mean to both restore and renovate?”Associate Provost Robert Midkiff said. Carnegie Building will hopefully answer that question.

 

Roberts Hall will also be undergoing renovations in the near future in an attempt to improve the residential experience. As student services offices are moved to Carnegie Building, areas in Roberts Hall will be maximized to provide more student space.

 

According to Provost Mick Smyer, this project will allow campus to “recapture student programming in dorms.”

 

While a timeline for Academic East construction remains unclear, plans for the future addition include a lab-focused center for both student and faculty research. Similar in structure and located across from Academic West, this new building will include facilities for research in areas such as health sciences, and departments including Biomedical Engineering and Animal Behavior. The building will house approximately 20 offices and four classrooms, maintaining the focus on a space dedicated to research and laboratory instruction.

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