The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Renovation of Hibbard lecture halls decreases class size

Butch McCartney

Two lecture halls in Hibbard are undergoing a renovation this semester, forcing some classes out and limiting the number of students who can enroll.

Hibbard 101 and 102 will have new seating and all new technology, said Steve Horner, director of facilities planning.

“Anyone who has taken a class in there can tell you that if you moved at all, the noise your seat made disturbed the whole class,” Horner said.

The renovation, scheduled to be completed in time for the fall semester, was budgeted for in the 1999-2001 biennial legislative budget. This money was set aside by the state legislature specifically for improvements to classrooms and technology.

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The cost of this year’s renovations is about $1 million.

In addition to an updated look, the rooms are receiving technology updates including new video, data projection and sound systems. The acoustics in the rooms are also being improved.

Larger, more adequate projection screens will be installed in the lecture halls.

“The old screens were satisfactory for slides and movies, but they weren’t adequate for data projection,” Horner said.

Horner added that to make the screens large enough for data projection, the ceilings needed to be raised.

Many classes that would normally use these rooms needed to relocate or downsize to accommodate the construction.

Last semester, the chairs of departments that use the rooms met to negotiate for the two remaining lecture halls in Hibbard, 100 and 103.

“We have a lot of history classes where we have 70-120 students,” said Judy Stitt, program assistant for the history department. “101 and 102 are two of the rooms that we use quite frequently.”

Because of the renovation, the history department was forced to lower enrollment in some classes.

Classes that would normally meet in a lecture hall seating up to 120 students were moved to classrooms only capable of seating 60 students.

“Right now almost every classroom we have is filled to capacity,” Stitt said.

All history classes are still being held in Hibbard.

After the renovations, the capacity of the two halls will decrease, Stitt said. “(Room) 101 has typically accommodated 125 students, after renovations, it will only seat 94.”

The loss of seats in both lecture halls will affect the number of students allowed to enroll in some history courses.

“For some classes where we used to be able to take 125 students, the class size will have to be lowered some, or use a different hall,” Stitt said.

In the next few years, the other two lecture halls in Hibbard will also be renovated along with other rooms in McPhee, Haas Fine Arts Center, Nursing, Human Sciences and Services and other rooms in Hibbard.

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Renovation of Hibbard lecture halls decreases class size