Eastern Michigan University students and faculty members alike are well aware of the construction Pray-Harrold is undergoing, but many have questioned how the project will affect classroom locations and space.
Seán Braden, manager of the physical plant, said the planning process has been a collaborative effort involving the entire campus community, and it started well over a year ago.
Although classroom assignments, along with the course scheduling for the summer semester, are final, the assignments may change for the fall semester depending on the size of enrollment and the sections offered.
Braden said several buildings have been proposed to be used as temporary classrooms, including McKenny Hall, Snow Health Center, Student Center, Rec/IM, Pierce, Pease, Welch, the Physical Plant, the Village Commons building and several residence hall lounges.
“We started in 2008 with a Space Utilization Assessment, followed in early 2009 with a Potential Swing Space Physical Assessment Report,” he said. “Over the summer months of 2009, academic affairs reviewed potential course scenarios and during the autumn months of 2009, we developed a plan for temporary locations and relocation.”
Office relocations for staff and faculty began in February for the College of Arts and Science’s Dean’s suite and in March, the Information Technology department was moved. The CAS Dean’s office is temporarily located in Bowen, while the IT Department office is temporarily located in both Halle and the Parking Structure Building.
During April and May, more academic departments made the transition to their temporary offices, and temporary classroom locations are currently being prepared for the upcoming fall semester, according to Braden.
For those wondering where to find their professors, King Hall and Hoyt Hall are the primary locations of the temporary offices for academic departments.
The African American studies, computer science, English language and literature, history and philosophy, mathematics and political science are in Hoyt. The economics; women’s and gender studies; and sociology, anthropology and criminology are housed in King Hall.
A concern for many students is whether or not the construction will have any effect on parking.
The renovation should not affect parking for any commuter or residential student. However, some parking spaces outside of Pray-Harrold will not be open and others will be closed off.
Residential students can still park in Mayhew Lots, Hoyt lot, and Green lots 1 and 2. Commuter students may still park on Ann Street, Bowen Lot, Bowen Roosevelt lot, College of Business Structure, Ford, Hoyt, Mayhew, and Green lots 1 and 2.
Students have mixed opinions about the renovations taking place.
“I think that the renovation is no big deal, none of my classes were moved,” said Sierra Cummings, a sophomore psychology major. “It seems like a small price to pay to have a nice building to enjoy in the fall.”
Shawna Mounts, a senior majoring in biology, is skeptical about how parking will be affected.
“Now, I have to park farther away from my classes and it can be hard to find a parking space despite all the open lot for commuter parking,” she said.
Five Pray-Harrold transition meetings were held by the architect team and physical plant representatives for those with questions or issues about the construction.