By Ashton Moss, News Editor
No longer called the new building, State Farm Hall is closing in on the day that it will officially open. Excitement around campus is tangible as student, faculty and staff prepare to christen the new hall and say goodbye to Shaw Hall.
“Since I came to IWU in 2000, I have taught almost all of my classes in Shaw Hall. I won’t miss it when it is closed down,” said Professor Diego Mendez-Carbajo, chair of the economics department.
Saying goodbye to Shaw means upgrading to many specialized classrooms, which will make a variety of classes and teaching styles more affective.
“There is a case study classroom that can accommodate up to 40 students and there will be a dedicated ‘theater classroom’ that is designed for courses that require the regular screening of films,” Associate Provost Frank Boyd said.
These classrooms will not only be more fitted for the types of classes that will be there, but they are going to be more conducive to learning and teaching in general.
“It will be great to teach in rooms with plenty of space for the students and professors and with layouts and furniture designed to enhance teaching and learning. The technology available should be a big step up from what we’re accustomed to in Shaw,” said Professor David Marvin, chair of the business department.
There will also be advances in technology all throughout the new building.
“With regard to instructional technology, most of the classrooms will be equipped with Eno Boards. There will be screens in a large number of the group study rooms that will allow students to display the work from their laptops on larger screens,” Boyd said.
Opening up State Farm Hall will also open up new study areas for students. Conveniently, on almost the opposite side of campus from Ames, students will now have eight new study group rooms.
“There are many, many other areas for students to work,” Boyd said. “Perhaps the most interesting will be a group of three booths on the first floor that will have screens mounted on the wall in each booth. Students can connect their laptop to the screens and work with fellow students on group projects.”
There will also be areas to study on every floor in the hallways. In designing the building, it was decided that students needed a building where they did not just go to class, but where they were able to study and collaborate with peers.
Both staff and students will be benefiting from the opening of State Farm Hall.
“All of us very much appreciate State Farm and its donation investing in the academic experience at IWU. Without its generosity we might be looking at many more years in Shaw, and that would be far from ideal,” Marvin said.