Comments sought on renovation plan for 150 Columbia

The UO is asking faculty and students for comments on an impending renovation of the 150 Columbia lecture hall, part of a larger, campuswide push to improve all classroom spaces.

But time is running short. Comments need to be submitted by this Friday.

With thousands of students and dozens of teachers using 150 Columbia every year, the lecture hall has been in need of a renovation for a long time.  A new large lecture room in Straub Hall will open in spring 2015, giving UO administrators the opportunity to close Columbia 150’s doors for the renovation.

“We have a focused effort on enhancing the quality of all of our classrooms,” said Kenneth Doxsee, vice provost for academic affairs. “Deciding which specific project to carry out is complicated, depending on things like the extent of need, the ability to take the room offline, the cost and timeline for the work, the impact and the extent to which we can make significant improvements as opposed to minor cosmetic changes.”

Doxsee has consulted with groups of professors who have recently taught in 150 Columbia and an architectural design team to establish a budget for the new and improved space. The team has identified a budget of approximately $2.2 million.

“Our budget will allow for much more than a new coat of paint, but much less than a full gut and redesign,” he said.

 The renovation will include new furnishings, improved lighting, extended legroom and enhanced accessibility. The new additions will improve the classroom experience for both students and professors.

“We want to make it a desirable place to teach and to learn and to support both traditional lecture format courses and other teaching styles,” Doxsee said.

The project would ideally be completed by fall term 2015.

Students, staff and members of the university community are encouraged to give their input on the proposed renovation. Anyone who has ideas and visions for 150 Columbia, while keeping in mind the time constraints and financial limitations of the project, can submit them to no later than Friday, Nov. 21.

—By Nathaniel Brown, Public Affairs Communications intern