Carnegie Mellon University has begun a multiyear, $20 million renovation project that will upgrade teaching and learning spaces across the Pittsburgh campus.
The university says the initiative follows a detailed assessment of nearly 100 classrooms by faculty and staff on the Learning Spaces Committee, established in 2016.
After rating each classroom based on design for active learning, environmental quality, furnishings and technology, the committee proposed renovations that will not only provide an immediate benefit to students and faculty, but also position Carnegie Mellon to sustain world-class teaching and learning spaces over the long term.
Interim University Presient Farnam Jahanian says that some preliminary work is underway. An aggressive schedule is being developed that will take advantage of every break in the academic calendar to move the project forward without disrupting classes.
The project will overhaul dozens of the most heavily used spaces in campus buildings such as Baker, Porter, Doherty and Wean halls, Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, Mellon Institute and the College of Fine Arts.
This project also will include the renovation of 10 classrooms in Posner Hall that will become available to the university community beginning in 2018, when the Tepper School of Business moves into the new David A. Tepper Quadrangle. These classrooms in Posner, representing more than 700 seats, will deliver more high-quality learning spaces to benefit the entire campus.
Beyond essential improvements in lighting, comfort and accessibility, the renovations will create innovative templates for the campus's learning environments.
The upgrades will incorporate flexible furnishings to adapt to a variety of learning activities and instructional technology that will enable students to engage actively with course content, collaborate with peers and interact with instructors. Some technology enhancements may enable instructors to gather more learning data and analytics in real time.
University officials say the $20 million investment is part of a longer-term strategy that will include an increase in the budget allocated to classroom renovations and maintenance.