UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock
Students to Newly Improved Classrooms
Weber (518) 437-4980, Karl Luntta (518) 265-4114, cell
(September 2, 2003) -- The University at Albany today unveiled
a $1 million rehabilitation of 27 of its most heavily used
classrooms, the first phase of a multi-year commitment to
facilities improvement and innovation. The project focuses
on essential design elements that directly affect classroom
learning such as temperature, lighting and furniture and the
accommodation of state-of-the-art technology.
Karen R. Hitchcock said, "This effort is yet another
example of how our learning environment is continually evolving
to provide our students with the best academic experience
possible. Classrooms that respond to student needs help to
attract the best and brightest students. This is essential
as UAlbany strives to become one of the top 30 public research
universities in the country."
the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 7, 2003),
classroom design experts believe that carefully designed,
comfortable learning environments play an important role in
classroom learning. Design expert Daniel Niemeyer, author
of Hard Facts on Smart Classroom Design, said that
elements such as desks, chairs and lighting are "crucial"
elements of good classroom design.
incorporate 36,500 square feet of classroom space and are
the result of a year-long planning process. The conditions
of 92 uptown classrooms and 18 downtown classrooms were assessed.
In addition, students were surveyed for ideas on what would
provide an optimal learning environment.
focus is on the most heavily used classrooms including the
Lecture Center and the Humanities classrooms, which account
for more than 50 percent of classes. Within those buildings,
six Lecture Center rooms and 21 Humanities rooms were targeted
for summer renovations and improvements.
first floor of Humanities was renovated this summer with freshly
painted classrooms, larger tablet desks and chairs, an attached
basket for books, new lighting and new window treatments.
Desktops are durable graphite, and the chairs have a flexible
seatback. Carpeting has been replaced with tiles and acoustical
fabric covers the walls. Three of the renovated Humanities
rooms are "smart classrooms" equipped with multimedia
equipment that includes a new sound system, instructor computer
and VCR. In addition, the hallways have new flooring, ceilings
In the Lecture
Center classrooms, chairs, carpeting and some ceilings have
been replaced. Light gray tabletops have been replaced by
a darker graphite.
Building west lobby will also host a display of contemporary
art given to the University by computer magnate and philanthropist
Peter Norton. Each year, the Peter Norton Family Foundation
commissions an artist to create a unique work for distribution
to its Christmas list, which includes friends, museums and
university galleries and museums across the country. Since
1994, UAlbany has received unique works, including artist
Kara Walker's pop-up silhouette book titled, Freedom:
A Fable, narrated by a "soon-to-be emancipated 19th-century
Negress" who dreams of creating a new world in Africa
after the war. Also on display is Brazilian artist Vik Muniz's
recreation of Caravaggio's Medusa (1590) rendered in pasta
to the classroom renovations, two adjacent low-rise residence
halls constructed in 1964-65 on Dutch Quad on the uptown campus,
were also completely rehabilitated this summer. The residence
halls, which include approximately 165 beds, received new
roofs, mechanical systems, fire alarms, sprinklers, furniture,
lighting and new lounge spaces and study areas.
Also this fall,
two new restaurants will open in the Campus Center including
Caliente CAB and Sbarro's. In addition, Zepp's Sandwich Shoppe
has relocated, almost doubled in size, and offers an expanded
menu featuring hot and cold subs and salads. Hudson River
Bank and Trust Co. opened a full-service branch (with an ATM)
in the Campus Center and also installed an ATM in the Lecture
Center area. For more information, visit www.albany.edu/uas
that our students' experiences extend beyond the classroom,
and as we improve their quality of life throughout the campus,
we improve their academic experiences as well. From large
scale projects such as apartment-style living at the newly
constructed Empire Commons and major rehabs of our current
residence halls, to expanding restaurant options in our Campus
Center, we continually aim to meet the needs of our students
on every level," said Hitchcock.
the University's incoming class, consisting of 2,100 traditional
freshmen, was drawn from 17,316 applicants. The class has
an average high school GPA of 90 and mean SAT scores 15 points
higher than last year's scores. 200 Presidential Scholars
are in the incoming class, compared to 173 last year, and
more than 100 College Scholars, up from 87 last year.