Facility Focus (Learning Studio and Classroom Design)

SUNY Oswego: School of Education

SUNY Oswego: School of Education

Nationally recognized for its technology education program, State University of New York Oswego’s School of Education gives future instructors the tools they need to guide tomorrow’s students in managing the technological innovations of the future. In short, this is where STEM teachers learn to teach STEM.

Housed in Wilbur Hall and Park Hall, the 1930s buildings boasted historical significance — then-Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for Park Hall — yet lacked the 21st-century technology and tools required by today’s students.

To bring the buildings up to date, Stantec’s Berkley, MI, office, in association with Bergmann Associates, recently completed a 91,000-square-foot renovation and 13,500-square-foot addition that incorporates the specific technology and learning spaces needed to support the curriculum, maximize flexibility and adaptability, and create a sense of community for the School of Education.

Naturally, the STEM-heavy curriculum necessitates a variety of unique and highly specialized learning spaces, so many of the building’s classroom spaces are a far cry from traditional. A number of design considerations went into play to make spaces like a Transportation Lab; Energy & Power Lab; Technical Drawings and Engineering Graphics Lab; Materials Processing Labs for wood, polymers and metals; and an Electronics/Mechatronics Lab work in a building built decades ago.

The design also recognizes that 21stcentury learning is not confined to a classroom. A new three-story collaborative connector offers added space for common-area seating with access to technology, while acting as a physical mechanism to connect to buildings, unifying the program under one roof.

The resulting facility is transformed into a space that is reflective of the school’s philosophy and supports the cutting-edge STEM program.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of College Planning & Management.

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