Carver Lecture Hall underwent a make-over to update the teaching style during the break before Fall classes in 2022.

Carver Lecture Hall underwent a make-over to update the teaching style during the break before Fall classes in 2022.

by Ariel Clark, Staff Reporter

Carver’s Lecture Hall underwent construction prior to Fall 2022 classes in order to make it more accessible for people who are disabled and also provide the room with a system that’s easier for students to do group projects in. The changes were made possible by a grant provided by the R.J. Carver Foundation.

Previously the room had a maximum capacity of 110 seats (despite no classes held there being nearly as large) and lacked room for mobility or a comfortable atmosphere. The renovation has completely replaced the old and worn chairs with a total of 50 seats, each equipped with a cupholder and circular bottom for a place to put backpacks and other items. 

Three tables near the front, accessible via a wheelchair-friendly ramp, provide an option to raise up in order to fit students with disabilities comfortably. Whiteboards are scattered around the room, with smaller hand-held ones near the seats. TVs help project slideshows and student work throughout the room. 

The new design also provides ample technology for battling issues surrounding COVID-19. Two smart microphones are implemented into the ceiling in order to amplify voices for anyone attending the class through ZOOM. Two cameras can be found in the room as well, with one in the front corner and another in the middle of the back. These give students attending online, or reviewing a video of class that day a variety of viewpoints from home.

A team of interdisciplinary faculty first provided a grant proposal to the R.J. Carver Foundation in the fall of 2020. The grant was accepted in the winter of 2021. However, construction was delayed until June 2022 because of supply-chain issues. While it isn’t completely finished, the room has already held multiple classes this fall. 

Jackie Brittingham stood as the spokesperson for the faculty side of the process. The professor of biology has helped shape many changes in the Carver building over her time at Simpson to try and keep up with modern times and provide a cooperative learning environment. 

Corteney Louis, a sophomore studying forensic science and biochemistry, enjoys the room’s layout and accessibility. While she hasn’t been on campus for long due to being a transfer student, she likes the extra televisions and ramp that was implemented for those with disabilities.