Half of Lawson Hall closed for summer

By Gus Bode

a href=”https://www.dailyegyptian.com/contactus.html”bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span

Half of Lawson Hall closed for summer

Building to receive state of the art technology

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Five lecture halls in Lawson Hall will be closed off during the summer semester to make way for renewed classrooms of modernism and technology – complete with smart podiums, wide screen projectors and new seating.

The University recently began upgrading technology in classrooms around campus with the $4 million dedicated over the next two years to renovate what Phil Gatton, Physical Plant director, called “forgotten” portions of campus.

“We’re giving the auditoriums new technology, but Lawson Hall will be state of the art,” he said.

Last year, Chancellor Walter Wendler promised $1 million annually of a 49 percent four-year tuition hike to classroom upgrades, and Vice Chancellor for Administration Glen Poshard also dedicated $2 million during the next two years.

“We wanted the money to go the technology,” Wendler said. “It helps them get to the parts of campus that have been neglected.”

Gatton said that most auditoriums on campus have never been renovated, and many have changed little since they were built many years ago. Since they are the most used classrooms on campus, they were given top priority when money was allocated for upgrades.

“Auditoriums, especially Lawson Hall, have a higher usage, particularly for freshmen and sophomores,” Gatton said. “We plan to get the work done in two years, and we hope the summers will be enough to get it done.”

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Gatton said that out of the $4 million given to the program during the next two years, $1.5 million has already been committed for technology and furniture. He expects to have committed the majority of the money, $3.5 million fiscal years 2003 and 2004, by the end of the summer.

Susan Logue, associate dean of Morris Library, said the University has submitted proposals and recommendations to various companies and will begin accepting bids today. She said she hopes to have the new technology installed in all auditoriums before the end of intercession.

Auditoriums will receive new projectors, document cameras, VCRs and lecterns, which will control projection devices, lighting and audio systems. The lecterns will also be equipped with SMART technologies software, which allows more interactive teaching.

“Classrooms will receive SMART white boards … which essentially turns a white chalkboard into a computer display screen,” Logue said. “The bigger auditoriums will receive software in the lectern so that we don’t have to replace the screen.”

Auditoriums in Faner and Pulliam Halls, Parkinson Laboratory, Neckers Building, the Agriculture Buildings, Lindegren Hall, Wham Education Building and Quigley Hall will also be equipped with upgraded technology, though only Lawson Hall will receive cosmetic changes.

Reporter Katie Davis can be reached at [email protected]

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