Morgan Hall renovation shuffles staff

The north side of Morgan Hall undergoes renovations. The construction at Morgan has spread staff across the campus.

Construction is underway in Morgan Hall and the sound of machinery and construction workers can be heard around the building. Many rooms in Morgan Hall have been unusable due to the renovations, which have forced alternative plans to be put in place to ensure that all classes, faculty, staff and students have rooms available for use. 

Students have been affected in ways beyond the loss of classrooms and the ever present sound of construction.

“I don’t mind having all the classes in Henderson now, but I do miss the atmosphere of Morgan. It was really nice having all the English teachers in one building so you had access to meet with them, discuss with them and then go to the classes right there,” said Monica Schroeder, an English major. 

In total, 16 classrooms were lost due to construction and scheduling and room assignments had to be made to make up for the loss. This was the job of CJ Crawford, the manager of Academic Scheduling and Commencement Services.

“Each department was assigned at least one room and in some cases more, depending on the number of courses they teach,” said Crawford.

The school of business and departments, such as math and English, received more rooms because they have university required courses. Once all departments received rooms, a mock schedule was created late last spring.

Departments were asked to spread their classes out as well as to use afternoon time slots. They then turned these mock schedules into Crawford who created a master spreadsheet of all the schedules and room assignments.

“I think the biggest challenge was determining who would get what rooms and how many,” said Crawford.

A lot of research was completed to figure out  how many classes were taught, what times they wanted to teach them and what the sizes of the classes were. The mock schedule was created to see what steps were needed to get everyone squared away.

Faculty and staff have had to make adjustments to cope with the construction. Many teachers have offered more online classes as a way of being able to conduct a class that otherwise would be affected by the ongoing renovations. 

“I would say that overall we’ve had great support and cooperation from the academic units and faculty in making things work,” said Crawford.

Many staff and faculty members came up with ideas and ways to teach around the construction. This made what could have been a very difficult situation a little bit easier. However, those in Morgan Hall are eager for the construction to be complete and for the new Welcome Center to be open.

“We really do have a good group of faculty and staff that have really cooperated with us,” said Crawford. 

The changes to Morgan scheduled to be complete in 2015.