By: Rebekah Smith
With the completion date of State Farm Hall quickly approaching, students and faculty are eager and excited to begin having classes inside this brand new building.
But since most of the classes formerly held in Shaw will be moved into State Farm Hall, many students are asking, “What’s going to happen to Shaw?”
This 48,700-square-foot facility will replace Shaw Hall, which was opened in 1954 to be Illinois Wesleyan University’s primary classroom building. Shaw’s classrooms are much too small to fit the needs of today’s classes.
The enrollment at IWU when Shaw was built was around 1,600 students, while today there are over 2,000 students in attendance. Shaw also lacks the capabilities to incorporate technological advancements for teaching.
The Space Allocation Task Force – a committee comprised of faculty, staff and students – hopes to address these issues and has sent out a draft proposal for comments to determine how the space in Shaw will be used.
Four classrooms have been given to the School of Theatre arts for instructional space for drafting, acting, tap and voice classes. Erica Werner, a first-year music theatre major, said, “I’m concerned that the classrooms are so small, and I can’t imagine having a dance class in there.”
It has been suggested to set aside space for the Advancement Office’s call center and the Office of Institutional Research. Provost Jonathan Green said, “At present, there is still some flex space in Shaw, and we have received additional requests and suggestions which the task force will review before making a final set of recommendations to the president and cabinet.”
Other students have voiced their opinions about the use of the space. Sophomore John Blumenreich suggested that the extra rooms in Shaw be “geared toward big student organizations, so certain groups can have their own meeting rooms.”
Austin Aldag, a first-year accounting and political science major, thinks that the empty rooms “should be used for faculty offices, storage and overflow classes.”
The Space Allocation Task Force has yet to reach a decision about the distribution of Shaw classrooms, but these students’ voices among others will be heard. All suggestions will be considered and discussed, and a final decision will be released to the IWU public soon.