$2.3 million set aside for classroom improvement project this summer

Kristine Gill

Approximately 70 classrooms in 15 different building on campus scheduled for renovations

The small and somewhat decrepit desks in a Bowman Hall classroom may have seen the end of their days. Kent State is spending $2.3 million on classroom seating renovations over the summer. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Students returning in the fall will be sitting more comfortably thanks to classroom seating renovations taking place this summer. The university has set aside $2.3 million for a classroom improvement project that will affect about 70 classrooms in 15 different buildings around campus.

“There is a built-up need to address some of the classrooms and the president dedicated some money to (the project),” said Jeff Mylam, executive director of the academic budget, adding that colleges that use each building also contributed money.

Associate Provost Laura Davis said past classroom enhancement projects were not as centralized.

“There hasn’t been a classroom improvement effort with this amount of money at a time,” she said. “In the past, these things were decided on an individual basis. Now we can focus on central things to try to effect a bigger change.”

Buidlings that will get the most attention this summer include Bowman, Cunningham, McGilvery, Satterfield, White and the Business Administration building.

Improvements were prioritized using a utilization factor, a figure derived from the number of hours a classroom is used daily and the number of students who pass through.

“We did walk throughs of each room earlier in the year,” Davis said, adding that University architects as well as members of each college department participated.

“We’re going to be changing seating in rooms with fixation problems,” she said. “It’s often advantageous to have moveable furniture. It provides flexibility.”

“We’re looking at creating a more versatile learning environment,” said Tom Euclide, executive director of facility planning and operation.

Euclide said the new fixed seating units will cost about $650 each. Individual desks with the flip-down seats and lift-up tablet arms cost about $400.

Renovations will be done by fall, and summer courses will be scheduled around the project.

“The University architects’ office will be doing the renovation work, and contractors will be hired as needed,” Davis said.

Mylam said other improvements will include new blinds, whiteboards, paint and flooring in some classrooms.

Contact academic affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].