Students and faculty at Linfield’s Portland Campus endured a noisy week of classes with the demolition of a large lecture room in Peterson Hall.
The demolition is the first step in the campus’ remodel, which will convert the lecture room into two classrooms and a multipurpose room, David Groff, associate vice president for academic affairs, said.
Groff has been instrumental in pushing this project forward with his involvement during the strategic planning process in 2003. The two primary buildings of the campus, Peterson and Loverich halls, were built in the late 1960s and have not undergone significant renovations since.
“We haven’t added any space,” Groff said. “We’ve grown and really need more space.”
While there was a need to increase space because of the growth in student population, it was unclear how to do so, Groff said.
Matters were further complicated during the initial planning stages because the buildings are owned by Legacy Emanuel Hospital.
“The larger issue was how do we gain more space—space that’s configured in the way that is appropriate for the way we teach?” Groff said.
After devising several plans with architectural designers and scrupulous weighing of pros and cons, Groff and his team decided the most cost-effective, practical remodel was to make the lecture hall
into three rooms.
The lecture hall was divided by a partition so that two classrooms could have simultaneous science lectures, Groff said. However, because of new requirements for students to transfer with their prerequisites completed, there is no need for strictly lecture classrooms. Instead the campus’ teaching style emphasizes a clinical component, which is more interactive, Groff said.
Beneath the two new classrooms, created from Peterson hall, will be a multipurpose room on the basement level. Previously, students taking paracurricular classes were relegated to a not-so-private foyer facing NW 23rd street. The new multipurpose room will create a space for students to work in an enclosed area, Groff said.
Sophomore Kelsey Mc-Cann will transfer to the Portland Campus in the fall and is excited to hear about the remodel.
“I like the new idea a lot,” she said. “When I went up there (to visit), it was kind of obvious that most of the classroom work is where you apply the skills you need so the remodel makes a lot of sense.”
While renovations are taking place, professors and students will be slightly inconvenienced for the last few weeks of class. In particular, the Nursing 419 class scheduled in the lecture hall once weekly for three hours is now conducted in a rented space in Montgomery Park, Groff said.
Each of the new classrooms will hold up to 48 students and the entire project is expected to be completed by mid-August.