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Despite construction stall, innovative science lecture hall open for students

From Illinois Business Journal news services

EDWARDSVILLE — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students are enjoying a newly enhanced learning environment in the Science Building. Renovations to the lecture hall were nearly complete when construction on the building was put on hold pending state budget approval.

siuelecturehallThe new auditorium features more seating, easily adjustable overhead LED lighting, electrical outlets fitted on each seat, wi-fi, wall panels to enhance the acoustics and other aesthetic updates. More improvements are still to come.

“We are thrilled to have the use of this lecture space,” said Bill Retzlaff, associate dean in the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences. “Right now the classroom is primarily used for lecture courses in the SIUE science programs. Once further renovations can be completed, such as electrical, air handling and other finishes, other programs may use this new teaching space, too.”

On the first day of classes, students were impressed by the room’s transformation.

“When I walked into the lecture hall, I was blown away by how nice it looked,” said Brady Dixon, a sophomore biological sciences major. “The updated environment will be more conducive to learning because it provides a more accommodating feel.”

According to John Renken, SIUE architect, the auditorium also doubles as a movie theatre complete with surround sound. One other lecture hall in the building is also being used. Temporary power, lighting, heat and cooling have been installed to accommodate classes during the fall semester.

Renken says the Science Building construction project is fully funded by the State Capital Develop Board and is on hold until a state budget is approved.

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