Syracuse University Invests $9 Million in Classroom Enhancements, Technology Upgrades as Part of Campus Framework
The classrooms of today need to be interactive, flexible and ready for collaboration—the latest in audiovisual equipment, teaching aids and high-speed networks all enhance learning and the classroom experience.
As part of the Campus Framework, the University will make an extensive slate of renovations to a variety of academic spaces on campus. This summer alone, the University will invest more than $9 million to make that happen.
A variety of technology upgrade projects are underway in classrooms, study spaces and teaching laboratories this summer. Combined, the Division of Information Technology Services (ITS) and Campus Planning, Design and Construction (CPDC) are working to update technology and academic spaces in more than a dozen buildings on campus, including Carnegie Library, the Center for Science and Technology, Crouse Hinds Hall, Eggers Hall, Flint Hall, Hall of Languages, Haven Hall, Heroy Geology Building, Link Hall, Lyman Hall, MacNaughton Hall, the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, the Physics Building, the Shaffer Art Building, Slocum Hall and White Hall.
“Every summer, Syracuse University dedicates tremendous resources—in dollars and personnel—updating the campus in anticipation of the arrival of returning and new students and faculty. This year is no exception,” says Michele G. Wheatly, vice chancellor and provost. “Providing a high-caliber environment that fosters learning, teaching and innovation is not only consistent with our Academic Strategic Plan, it’s also critical to attracting and retaining high-achieving students and world-class faculty scholars. The work being done this summer by ITS and CPDC will enhance the student experience, elevate classroom learning and teaching, and generate new opportunity for student and faculty researchers.”
The work includes Americans with Disabilities Act improvements; audio and visual system upgrades; the installation of new smart teaching stations; complete technology overhauls; classroom and auditorium renovations; furniture replacements; classroom seating replacements; and the creation of new seminar rooms, meeting rooms and classrooms.
New smart teaching stations allow faculty members to present materials in a variety of ways, with the use of such equipment and technology as smartboards, projection screens, speakers and USB ports. The possibilities provide new ways to engage with students and more ways for students to interact and participate in classroom learning.
“Our campus is swiftly implementing some of the academic space, accessibility and technology changes our Campus Framework group proposed,” says Cathryn Newton, dean emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences, who is the University’s only professor of interdisciplinary sciences, a Provost’s Faculty Fellow and a member of the Campus Framework Advisory Group. “These current academic investments can increase our undergraduate and graduate caliber and elevate our research capacity. Such strong responses to the proposals of this group of students, faculty and staff provide a clear signal of institutional support.”
Pete Sala, vice president and chief facilities officer, says many of the projects he and his team are working on this summer will help the University enhance its academic and research excellence.
For example, CPDC is currently constructing a new space in the Heroy Geology Building that will house the new National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT) Program. The Education Model Program on Water-Energy Research, also known as EMPOWER, is the result of a $3 million NSF grant received in April 2015. EMPOWER, an interdisciplinary initiative, involves faculty from the Department of Earth Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Engineering and Computer Science; the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Other instructional space improvements include:
- Center for Science and Technology 4-201 — seating replacement
- Eggers Hall 032 — full renovation
- Eggers Hall 060 — control systems upgrade
- Falk Complex 100, 101, 104, 175 — AV system upgrade
- Hall of Languages 102, 105, 114, 115, 202, 205, 211, 214, 215 — furniture replacement
- Link 105 — finishes, lighting, ADA improvements and full AV system upgrade
- Lyman 126, 227, 229A, 229B — new classrooms
- Slocum 214 — AV system upgrade
- Watson Theater — AV system upgrade
- Whitman School of Management 007, 110, 404, 411 — system component upgrades
“The work we’re doing this summer will have a direct and tangible impact on our students, faculty and staff,” says Sala. “When our students and faculty return to campus in August, I am confident they will be pleased with the progress made inside and outside the classroom. To continue enhancing our academic offerings, it is critical that we constantly assess our spaces and evolve to meet the changing needs of our students and research faculty.”
Samuel J. Scozzafava Jr., vice president for information technology and chief information officer, says ITS’s collaboration with CPDC is allowing the University to execute an ambitious slate of improvements, upgrades and enhancements. He says ITS is especially focused on bringing new classroom spaces online, improving current academic spaces and upgrading network technology throughout campus.
The University makes significant investments to provide accessible technologies and services that energize teaching and learning,” says Scozzafava. “Investments this summer include the design and construction of classrooms and new instructional spaces with cutting-edge equipment and capabilities for instruction and collaboration, and the development and deployment of multiple applications and services for academic success and operational excellence.”
Scozzafava says positioning faculty to pursue pioneering research, such as the Department of Physics’ recent involvement in the discovery of gravitational waves, requires a particularly advanced and savvy information technology system.
For example, the University’s 300 tera-FLOP supercomputer played an important role for the researchers involved with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Co-funded by NSF and Syracuse’s Information Technology and Services and housed in the Green Data Center on South Campus, the computer is used for detecting space-time ripples in Advanced LIGO data and for modeling sources of gravitational waves.
“The University’s assertive support of advancing technology expertise and innovation among students, faculty and staff empowers research excellence with a dynamic portfolio of computing capabilities and resources,” says Scozzafava. “It’s no coincidence that the University’s reputation and standing as a top-tier research institution have blossomed in the presence of its sizable investment in robust, highly available, leading-edge information technology and infrastructure.”
Classrooms receiving technology upgrades—some of which are also receiving space upgrades—include the following:
- Crouse 407 — new mobile display
- Falk Complex 100, 101, 104, 175 — complete technology upgrade
- Falk Complex 520 (café), 530A (experimental kitchen) — new systems
- Link 105 — complete technology upgrade
- Lyman 115, 126, 227, 229A, 229B — new classrooms
- Shaffer 201 — new mobile display
- Sims 227 — new seminar/meeting room
- Slocum 214 — room technology upgrade
- Watson Theater — room technology upgrade
- Whitman School 110 — room technology upgrade
Other projects involving the Network Master Plan include the following buildings:
- MacNaughton and White halls
- 1320 Jamesville Ave.
- Carnegie Library
- Child Care Center
- Crouse Hinds Hall
- Sims Hall
Haven and Flint halls will also receive upgrades involving ResNet, the University’s high-speed Ethernet connection.