Classroom transformed into modern lecture hall


Shelby LeDuc

From gymnasium to classroom, and now to a new, modernized lecture hall, the unnamed lecture hall in Doudna has taken two years to plan and construct. The new lecture hall is electronically equipped with electrical plugs in each table.

The new lecture hall being constructed in Edgar G. Doudna Hall is another step the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is taking towards academic success. The addition to the Doudna facility is a new modern hall design and equipped for the convenience of both student and faculty.

Along with a brand new SMART board and full projection, which enables students who are unable to attend class stay connected, the furnished room is equipped with soundproof blue and orange walls and seats roughly 140 students according to Chancellor Dennis Shields. “The room was built when Doudna was built and it was actually the gymnasium at one time. It seats up to 140 and it has the latest technology and ability to record both video and audio in the class. It will be used for geography, history and freshman and sophomore gen-eds,” Chancellor Shields said.

Each table consists of five rolling chairs, three electrical outlets and is aligned in three horizontal columns. The alignment of the tables allows for maximum visual and audio participation from any student anywhere in the room. The final touch to the project was the UW-Platteville logo placed in the center in the front of the room.

The money for the new unnamed hall came mostly from a grant funded by the University of Wisconsin school system, rather than a traditional alumni donor. The UW System Administration Office of Academic Affairs operates a number of grants and award programs each year. The total cost of the project, including all the remodeling, came out to about $692,000, according to Shields.

As production to the new lecture hall nears the end, students and staff are eager to experience the sleek, clean, new look of the hall. A few tweaks here and there still need to be adjusted but they expect it to be up and running for spring semester. Along with general education needs of freshman and sophomores, the hall is mostly intended for geography classes, as well as history.

“I’d be surprised if there’s not very many students that come to school here that won’t have at least one or two classes in this hall,” Shields said. In comparison to the Thomas B. Lundeen Lecture Hall, located kiddie corner to the new one, this hall seems to be better equipped electronically and comfortably. Although Lundeen does sit roughly 40 more students, the new hall will make up for the crowded lectures currently taking place in the Lundeen Lecture Hall.

Geri Zauche the UW-Platteville Facilities Designer says the design, construction and finalization of the new lecture hall was a great team effort from when it first started about two years ago. “We worked a lot as a team along with the architect to complete this project. I’m very proud of this project. It took a lot of time and effort to bring everything together and it turned out well,” Zauche said.

Architect Diana Dorschner, from Dorschner Associates Inc., was one of the main designers of the project and brought together a lot of the aspects, which makes the room so sleek and comfortable. “She’s very passionate about what she does,” Zauche said. Most of the pre-construction planning was done by Doug Stevens and a majority of the hands-on production was facilitated by Pete Davis, UW-Platteville’s Director of Facilities.

Along with the development of this new hall, UW-Platteville has a short list of remodeling and renovations this campus will experience in the next decade. The next major project includes the remodeling of the second floor of Boebel, which was last renovated in 2010.

“We’ve got a project chewed up to remodel the second floor that we hope we can get a move on next summer. Long term we want to add onto engineering hall, humanities buildings and then remodel Ottensman. Those are four to six years away,” Chancellor Shields said.