With the largest incoming freshman class in over 25 years and multiple remodeling projects going on around campus this semester, the university is cutting it close for classroom space.
The Normal Theater will be holding a variety of classes this semester to serve as large lecture halls while the renovations around campus take place.
For many students on campus this will change their routine and may be out of the way for some, since there aren’t many academic buildings near the theater.
The Center for Visual Arts, where many students used to attend lectures for a variety of general education classes, among others, has been under construction since last year and will eventually combine Centennial East and West, along with the CVA.
The new project will remodel and replace the fine arts buildings and is going to be a multi-million dollar project. It will be beneficial to the variety of fine arts programs. The design phase is expected to take a few years, and for now, students have lost the large lecture halls provided by the CVA.
In addition to the CVA, Capen Auditorium, the largest lecture hall on campus, will begin a $1.27 million renovation Sep. 1. The auditorium will be getting new seating, flooring, sound and mechanical systems as well as electrical and plumbing systems.
The auditorium, which was built in 1909, was ready for much-needed remodeling. Until the major changes are completed, larger classes are also expected to convene in the Normal Theater until June 2015.
Many lecture halls on campus are either not large enough or are already filled to capacity. Because of this, the university is leasing the Normal Theater in order to continue holding large lectures for students.
Students are having mixed feelings about these location changes as they begin their fall semester.
“I’m excited to have a little bit of a change and maybe some comfy seats, but that may be a huge environmental change and could be too distracting without the traditional classroom setting.” sophomore marketing major Franceska Vargas said. Vargas is currently taking Sociology 112 at the theater.
Although the theater may be more comfortable for some, it could be more distracting for others as well. Depending on where you live around campus, the walk to the Normal Theater could be very convenient or a bit of a trek.
Residents and ISU students can expect to see mass amounts of students walking through Uptown throughout the day for the majority of the school year.
With so much traffic through town, local Uptown businesses will hopefully pick up a few extra customers. For now, students can recline in their theater chairs and enjoy the temporary space while the university continues it’s ongoing facelift.