By Kary Feick kfeick@my.madonna.edu

Small chairs, lack of space, and an uncomfortable learning environment will not be a problem this fall due to the classroom renovations in the 2400 hallway, located in the main academic building.

Out with the wooden desks, plastic desks, old tiles, and discolored paint and in with a painting job, brand new tables, comfortable chairs, and even new carpet.

The project began in January 2011 and concluded last month. Madonna’s Classroom Sub Committee led the project and renovated 15 classrooms, removing approximately 500 desks. Before the renovation began, Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa, President of Madonna University agreed that the classrooms needed an update and approved the new furniture.

“We knew that the desks were uncomfortable for adult students and we removed as many over the years as we could,” said Eleanor Geisler, Manager of Office Services at Madonna, and member of the Classroom Sub Committee.

“Our mission was to make students more comfortable and provide a much more conducive learning environment.”

From January to April, Madonna’s Classroom Sub Committee met to plan the much-needed renovations.

Throughout May, June, and July, the committee began choosing fabrics, carpeting, and getting quotes for taking the tiles out from each classroom. Construction began on classrooms in August and finished after only three weeks.

The process for each room involved planning and painting followed by removing tiles, laying carpet, and then adding furniture.

“It was a very exciting project to be involved in, I really can’t wait for the students to come back and see what we have done for them, and the chairs are really comfortable,” said Geisler.

The project includes each classroom in the 2400 hallway; even the English classrooms located around the corner near room 2444.

“A lot of classes meet in the 2400 hallway and we wanted to give it a fresh, new look,” said Pat Derry, Director of Technology Services, and Classroom Sub Committee member.

Most classrooms in the hallway contain an average of 40 desks, but one classroom had close to 80. Madonna donated all of the desks to churches and schools across the Detroit area.

One goal for the renovation included flexibility for both students and teachers. Both formal and informal student surveys about classrooms proved that the desks were uncomfortable, especially for adult size students. “I think it’s great that we are updating the classrooms because it makes the students feel more at home and helps encourage the learning process,” said Sue Boyd, Franciscan Studios Manager.

The project will increase flexibility by allowing more room for working in groups. With the new tables and chairs, the committee hopes that students will be more

comfortable, stay alert, and remain interested in class.

Madonna received a good price for the chairs and tables from KI, a company the University has worked with for over four years. The company is known for it’s excellent service and reasonably priced, high quality products.

The Classroom Sub Committee will meet in October to discuss further plans for other classrooms.

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