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The Learning Imperative initiative calls out the importance of engaging, hands-on learning experiences. Space metrics highlight condition issues in classroom space and the need for more space per seat to accommodate active learning. The Classroom Committee worked with the planning team to identify specific opportunities for classroom renovations. The Demand Study compared the mix of pooled classrooms to the mix of courses taught. It showed that the University has an overall surplus of classrooms despite deficits in some specific room size categories.

Existing classroom space with opportunity for renewal

Test Fit Prototypes identified opportunities to take two or more classrooms located next to one another offline, and combine and comprehensively renovate them to create active learning spaces. Gardner Hall in particular has several such opportunities. Targeted classrooms have low utilization and are in size categories with overages.

The prototypes illustrated potential capacity using two teaming strategies that have been successfully piloted on campus:

  • Node Chair (used in Greenlaw 101) – Maximum flexibility to accommodate lecture or small group work with a range of team sizes.
  • Group Tables (used in Phillips 206 and 208) – Provide more shared work surface and immediate access to technology.

There is a need for large classrooms overall, particularly because these rooms also accommodate University events, and the Classroom Committee noted that the University does not have a large active learning room. These spaces require specific design criteria to achieve proper sightlines and accessibility in a tiered configuration. Flexible configurations that allow for active learning require more space per student. Existing 400-seat classrooms like Carroll 111 could be renovated, but would have fewer seats after renovation.

Rosenau Hall Classroom
Rosenau Hall interactive classroom renovation | Image credit: BHDP Architecture

Key Opportunity Areas

Seven UNC-Chapel Hill buildings with severe condition ratings have five or more centrally-scheduled classrooms.

Holistic renovations of entire buildings or a wing could transform:

  • Gardner
  • Dey
  • Bingham

Selective renovations of classroom present an opportunity in:

  • Greenlaw
  • Hamilton
  • Hanes Art Center
  • Phillips

Centrally Scheduled Classrooms

  • Purple Stars: Worst Condition (FCI greater than .7)
  • Red Stars: Severe Condition (FCI between .3 and .7)
  • Black Circles: Centrally Scheduled Classroom Buildings with opportunities for renewal