APRIL 23, 2021 — UTSA has launched the Pilot Classroom Project, an initiative created to enhance student learning with new classroom furniture and academic technology that will pave the way for future classroom improvements.
Initiated by Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy and Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Business Affairs Veronica Salazar Mendez, this project includes the renovation of six interior classrooms and the addition of four outdoor classrooms.
Paul Goodman, associate vice president for facilities, said that with the support of university leadership and many departments, the Office of Facilities is gaining critical knowledge regarding the cost and timing needed to assist with future classroom upgrades.
Left: An Office of Facilities team prepares classroom BB 2.01.14 in the Business Building for upcoming upgrades.
Below, left: The project includes a vast amount of outdoor and indoor classroom selections.
“Many of our classrooms have outdated and insufficient furniture and technology to support today’s teaching needs,” said Goodman. “This pilot project brings together staff from [the offices of] Facilities, Academic Innovation and Space Management to plan strategic classroom improvements.”
In early March the facilities team began renovating six indoor classrooms in the Business and Multidisciplinary Studies buildings. Facilities’ primary focus is to update academic technology and furniture to support various levels and styles of student learning. Classroom renovations will also include new flooring, paint, glass marker boards, electrical power and Americans with Disabilities Act improvements for accessibility.
Construction of four new outdoor classrooms begins soon and will be located on the northeast corner of the Flawn Sciences Building and south of the Student Union. Project sneak peeks will be available through facilities’ social media accounts.
Benjamin Perry, university architect, said he is happy about the upcoming classroom transformations. “This project will help facilities serve students in an unprecedented way. Whether it be an indoor or outdoor classroom setting, the facilities team is prepared to respond to our students’ needs in today’s digital-shifting environment.”
One of Perry’s goals is to ensure students and faculty are comfortable in the classrooms. To achieve that goal, he and his team established a furniture classroom survey that allows students, faculty and staff to try indoor and outdoor classroom furniture and to vote on their favorites. Perry and his team are confident the survey will help guide them to select new modern and comfortable furniture.
In the coming months, facilities staff will work to complete the project prior to the start of the fall semester.
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