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The Renovations Continue: Two New Smart Classrooms in Horace Mann


Classroom undergoing renovations in Horace Mann.

Classroom undergoing renovations in Horace Mann.

TC is renovating two adjacent 850-square-foot classrooms on the fourth floor of Horace Mann Hall with a generous grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation, whose primary interest is in the field of education, including private higher education, theological schools, and public education initiatives.

Several departments use Horace Mann's Rooms 431 and 433 as classrooms and seminar rooms as they are among the largest classrooms on site. Such departments include the Department of Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Organization and Leadership and Curriculum and Teaching. Now the rooms are "smart classrooms," complete with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and a podium that contains a computer from which instructors can project documents onto a screen.

These classrooms are similar to other smart classrooms in the building except that the controls for the audio-visual systems and other tools can be operated with a remote control, said Vince Del Bagno, Director of Capital Projects. Being able to operate the audio-visual systems remotely allows the presenter to move about the room, rather than having to stay close to the podium during the presentation. This feature was added in response to the requests of our Faculty, many of which found the stationary podium of the other rooms too limiting, said Del Bagno.

The new classrooms aren't just smart. They have other new architectural features including new hanging lights and ceiling spots, which are all dimmable, and new heating. The old hardwood floors were in good condition and were restored. The room's new furniture has increased the seating capacity. All the hardware, light switch controls, coat hooks and physical access have been upgraded to meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Booth Ferris Foundation was established in 1957 under the wills of husband and wife, Willis H. Booth and Chancie Ferris Booth. Since that time, more than $140 million has been contributed from the Foundation to worthy organizations for a variety of purposes. The Foundation has supported TC's Reading and Writing Project in the past.

The new classrooms will be open for the beginning of summer classes.

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