Have you been in a lecture hall where your desk was falling apart and the paint was chipping? Were you praying to Vishnu that you wouldn’t catch anything from the dusty, germ-ridden classroom? Wondering where your tuition money has been going? Well, I’ve got good news for you. Our university is finally making big changes to polish the aesthetics of our campus.
For many, the renovations are long overdue, as campus has remained mostly the same as it was when it first opened. “As we’re celebrating the 50th year and 50th anniversary, most of the aesthetics are the same as they were 20-30 years ago,” said Joshua Massey, a computer engineering major graduating in 2018. “My dad went here a while ago and said ‘wow, a lot has changed but most of this is still the same.’”
However, this past summer, to commemorate the new year and the 50th anniversary, UMBC facilities did some renovating and redesigning of multiple lecture halls that were in dire need of such. Buildings that are behind in technology and aesthetics have been updated this summer. Lecture hall 3, for example, was renovated and installed with a new laser projector. Math and Psych rooms 100-106 have been cleaned up and renovated, with new projectors as needed. Fine Arts now has wooden cabinets to replace the previous metal wall racks that were in place.
Facilities were able to muster up about $115,000 for new chairs for classrooms and over 400 chairs in Sherman Hall and to repaint classrooms with accent colors to make rooms welcoming for students and faculty alike. To cut down on waste, facilities kept the chairs that were still in good condition in storage and also replaced chairs in the Sondheim building.
In addition to this, there have been plans to update instruction and technology on campus. DoIT was able to replace 26 all-in-one computers in engineering 021, 28 all-in-one computers on engineering 122 and 24 all-in-one computers in engineering 122A. All computers on campus now have been upgraded to windows 10 and have solid state drives which improves performance for its users. The library loaner program now has twenty laptops, including ten PCs and 10 Macbooks with plans to expand over the next year.
These efforts to improve our campus come mostly from complaints and the work of the classroom committee, chaired by vice provost for academic affairs, Dr. Antonio R. Moreira. “We’re really excited to be able to dedicate funds to upgrade our classrooms which are teaching and learning tools so the faculty can be able to work with students and that’s an important priority for our students,” he said.
Students are also glad to see our campus buildings get the improvements so desperately needed. “As a school that’s up-and-coming, these renovations have come at the perfect time. It’s great to see that UMBC’s infrastructure is catching up to its stellar academic!” said Hannah Pursley, a social work major.
Let’s hope that when UMBC turns 100 years old that we’ll be able to say we barely recognize this place and that we’ll be proud to say we were Retrievers in 2016!