CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
You’ve probably noticed CMU’s colossal construction site along
Forbes Avenue in Oakland, where work is underway on Tepper
Quad. (You also can watch developments at this monster construction site via a live webcam at tepper.cmu.edu/who-we-are/
tepper-quad/construction-timeline) The quad, when complete, is
meant to be a crossroads for the entire campus community, elevating cross-discipline collaboration and increasing opportunities for
students to interact with industry leaders and community partners
in their chosen fields. At its heart is a 305,000-square-foot building
designed to house the Tepper School of Business, the Swartz Center
for Entrepreneurship and other executive education and technolo-gy-enhanced learning initiatives. It also will be home to a planned
600-seat auditorium, a new university welcome center, a fitness
center and dining facilities.
The total price tag exceeds $200 million, and the school continues
to raise funds in support of this massive project. The current forecast
has Tepper Quad complete and ready for students in fall 2018.
In the meantime, students arriving at CMU this semester will
find three other developments: The 62,000-square-foot Jared L.
Cohon University Center held a soft opening of its new addition
in mid-May and plans a grand opening this fall. It offers students
improved recreation and creative opportunities through a space for
fitness, plus a studio theater available to student groups and small-scale productions.
Work also is completed on Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall,
a 109,000-square-foot building at the College of Engineering that
enhances the College of Engineering’s innovation culture and offers
students space for interdisciplinary research. Expansion of Hamburg
Hall continues, offering Heinz College students a new 150-seat lecture hall. Next steps: flexible classrooms, group and individual study
spaces, a glass-enclosed courtyard, student-project rooms and a cafe.
Duquesne’s innovative Flex Tech classrooms recently earned the
Harman Innovation Award — honoring innovative use and best
practices of audio-visual and information technology at colleges
and universities nationwide — at the annual UBTech Conference,
which focuses on emerging trends and leaders in higher-education
technology. Their design has caught the attention of educators
nationwide, who are requesting tours of the cutting-edge classrooms
on the campus in the Bluff. In these rooms, groups of four to six
students sit in pods at glass-top tables equipped with USB-charging
stations, where they can share digital content and connect tablets or
laptops to wall-mounted, flat-panel monitors.
Two more Flex Tech classrooms were constructed over the summer, bringing the total in use this fall to seven rooms. At the Energy
Innovation Center, Duquesne is among the co-founders of the
Citizen Science Lab, which focuses on providing hands-on science
for students in local secondary schools who otherwise might not
have that opportunity. Although weekend workshops and memberships are open to the entire Pittsburgh community, college students
have unlimited access to the lab and can apply for internships to
build specific skills.
Military-veteran students will find a newly renovated Veterans
Center, thanks to a nearly $7,000 grant from Home Depot and the
Students Veterans of America’s nationwide Vet Center Initiative.
This networking and study space includes a new computer worksta-
tion and a wall-mounted TV equipped for video conferencing; it is
intended to serve as a hub for this community of students.
LA ROCHE COLLEGE
Over the past year, La Roche student designers acquired hands-on experience in helping to re-imagine campus dorm rooms, as
renovation of residence halls continued at the college in McCandless
Township. Functionality and comfort were priorities, but the goal
also was to improve gathering spaces and create more community
interaction among students.
Additional renovation around the campus at the Zappala Col-
lege Center, Ryan Room and Cantellops Art Gallery also focuses
on creating social space. This work follows the renovation of the
Zappala College Center Square in summer 2015; the renovation in
2014 of the school’s outdoor athletic complex enabled the college to
expand the number of sponsored teams, including the addition of
women’s lacrosse during the 2015-16 school year.
Meanwhile, the first phase of renovating the Palumbo Science
Center (built in 1980) was completed 10 months ago. It now offers
students a modernized lecture hall and new classroom, with new
lighting, sound system and tech upgrades. A second phase, in planning stages, would include new laboratories and office space.
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Penn State’s outreach and cooperative extension offices in
Pittsburgh have merged into one high-tech, flexible space at the
Energy Innovation Center. The opening of this central space for the
Penn State Center Pittsburgh in May 2015 means further growth in
“engaged scholarship opportunities” for faculty and students across
all disciplines. This can mean anything from earth-science students
traveling from State College to Pittsburgh for research or communications students doing hands-on work with nonprofit groups.
Developing space at the center has been key because it has
drawn the attention of faculty throughout the Penn State system.
More teachers discovering that they can bring students to the center
means more students will benefit from hands-on and networking
opportunities there. The plan: to serve approximately 250 students in
“engaged scholarship” programs this year and a growing number in
One Penn State initiative that’s grown out of work at the center:
A pilot program expected to be unveiled this fall and launched in the
spring that would offer a regional version of a “study-abroad” experience. Students who have grown up and studied solely in rural and
suburban areas will be invited to apply for a “study-away” semester in
Pittsburgh, taking a full course load of in-person and online courses
while working in their areas of study and delving into urban life.
Deno DeCiantis, director of Penn State’s EIC office, points out
that more than 80 percent of the American population live and work
in urban areas. But many college students study and prepare for
adult life within the bubble of a rural college campus. The program