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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASUA evaluates new classroom layouts

ASUA and UA administrators met Wednesday to discuss the layout of a new set of classrooms planned for construction sometime in 2015.

Gail Burd, vice provost for academic affairs, presented the project to the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate in hopes of getting their opinions on which of the designs the senators liked best for the new classrooms.

The building has three different types of classroom options for the UA faculty to choose from, Burd said. One option is a 6,400 square-foot, 600-seat classroom with chairs similar to Centennial Hall with desks that rise out of the arms. Another option is a 240-person capacity classroom very much like the lecture halls in the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center. The third and final option is a ballroom-style classroom with 300 seats. The seats would surround tables in a hexagon-shaped room with the teacher in the middle of the classroom at a podium.

The senators all had different opinions on which classroom style would be best to place in the new building. Senator and ASUA presidential candidate Chad Travis said he liked the ballroom-style classroom the best.

“Number one, I think that it is a little more experimental for our school, which I like,” Travis said. “We can try some new things and … we have enough lecture halls already.” Travis added that it would be good for the freshmen to have this style of classroom because it is a better way for them to connect academically, due to the style of seating.

Sen. Danielle Dobrusin said she also liked the ballroom-style classroom because it is potentially very useful for people with physical disabilities, and that the ILC-style classroom would be useful with its long rows of stadium seating.

“The wide-open table spaces are very useful,” Dobrusin said. “The moveable chairs with the ability to turn around and talk to people behind you is a really good kind of space.”

After about 30 minutes of discussion, Burd thanked the senate for their input and said she thinks they had some good ideas. She added that most of the faculty is in favor of the Centennial Hall-style classroom, so it was good to see what the representatives of the student body thought. Burd added that the project was recently approved for planning by the Arizona Board of Regents and is projected to be completed by January 2015. The project is being paid for through a long-term bond that will be paid off over the coming years.

According to the executive summary by the board, the project is expected to cost $68 million.

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