Sept. 17, 2015

Campus makeovers put students' needs first

Sixteen upgrades, funded by Office of the Provost initiative, replace furniture, floors, paint, and add new technologies
New upgraded theatres in the Administration building include new flooring and furniture.
New upgraded theatres in the Administration building include new flooring and furniture. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Students filing back to classes in the first weeks of the fall semester might find some of their old study areas and classrooms looking brand new, thanks to upgrades to existing spaces on campus.

After months of work, the Office of the Provost’s annual Classroom Alteration Request (CAR) and Facility Alteration Request (FAR) initiatives are wrapping up this fall, creating a better experience for students. 

Started in the 2012-13 academic year, the CAR/FAR initiative invited faculties to submit requests for classroom, learning space and facility renovations that improve the quality of the teaching, learning, and research environment at the university, as well as those spaces that support them.

These renovations make sure that a high-quality learning environment is provided both inside and outside the classroom. Faculties may also use a portion of their own money to top up the funds provided by CAR/FAR, allowing for more comprehensive and effective changes to existing spaces.

“From the perspective of the Provost’s office, we have focused CAR/FAR funding on the needs of students, focusing on the quality of our classrooms and student study spaces,” says Kevin McQuillan, deputy provost. “It's a blend of priorities, including what the faculty asks and the bigger picture across the university as a whole.”

Taking advantage of the break in the summer, high-volume classrooms that are constantly booked were given comprehensive renovations, often completely changing the design and look of the area. The most common upgrades included improving or replacing existing furniture, flooring, paint and technologies to adapt existing spaces to meet the needs of students.

“Many of our most used buildings on campus predate personal computers and wireless internet, but these are essential technologies in any contemporary learning environment,” says McQuillan. “Something as simple as putting in power outlets and notebook-friendly desks can help students stay focused on their instructor instead of their laptop’s battery life.

“With these projects, you’re not cutting a ribbon on a new building or introducing a brand-new initiative, but these incremental improvements can have the largest immediate impact for our students. It’s a great moment when you see these rooms full of learners, knowing that those funds have been put to great use.”

The other renovated lecture theatre in administration.

The other renovated lecture theatre in Administration.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

2015‐16 CAR‐FAR Program Summary as of September 2015

  • Arts EDT 12F Psych research space - Oct. 2015 completion 
  • Arts SCPA performing spaces upgrade - Dec. 2015 installation
  • Deputy Provost AD 140/142 theatre upgrades - Complete
  • Deputy Provost SA 104/106 theatre upgrades - Complete
  • Deputy Provost CHC 105/119 theatre upgrades - Design complete
  • Arts CHC 105 lighting upgrade - Dec. 2015 installation
  • CP/Registrar MT 118/118A renovation - Substantially complete
  • EVDS PFB 2160 classroom upgrade - Substantially complete
  • Haskayne SH 116 111 classroom redevelopment - Substantially complete
  • Kines KNA 117 Aux Gym floor replacement - Complete
  • LCR EDC 373 Doucette admin space renovation - Complete
  • Nursing CHD 6F select flooring replacement - Complete
  • Science BI 211 247 classroom renovation - Substantially complete
  • Social Work PFB 470 upgrade student lounge - Complete
  • Vet Med CSB 183 Histopathology lab renovation - Nov. 2015 completion
  • SE/SU MSC Wellness and Prayer spaces - Oct. 2015 completion