Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Out of the caves

An idea was unearthed last week that may mean that soon our students will never have to go to class in “the caves” ever again.

Ken Snyder
There are two large classrooms on the third floor of the George S. Eccles Business Building that are so big, so deep that students say they can barely hear in the back of the room. Teachers and students alike have taken to calling room 317 and 319 “the caves.” These are flat classrooms furnished with old-fashioned, fixed-arm, hard desks. Teachers don’t like to teach there and students would prefer to be taught anywhere else. Up to 85 students fit in these classrooms.

When we have larger classrooms, we usually use tiered classrooms to facilitate discussion. We can’t convert these classrooms into tiered classrooms because the ceilings are too low. If we were to try to break these classrooms up into smaller classrooms, we’d end up with a lot of wasted space – a luxury we can’t afford.

As we’ve been discussing what we should and shouldn’t put into the new building, we came up with an idea that we had not thought of before. What if we converted these two classrooms into office space? If we make that space into office and meeting space for our centers, for example, we would have that much more room in the new building available for great, new classrooms. Swapping out bad classrooms and replacing them with great, new classrooms is the kind of trade we want to make.

Another advantage of this set-up will be that students who come through the George S. Eccles Business Building would then walk by this area on their way to their nice new classrooms in Huntsman Hall. This will help give more exposure to the work the centers are doing. After all, they won’t do much good if our students don’t know they are there.

This idea will make it so none of our students will ever again be lost in the back of “the caves” straining to hear what the teacher is saying. We think it’s a great idea.

- Ken Snyder

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