Auburn University Hosts Grand Opening Ceremony for New University Classroom and Lab Complex

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Auburn President Christopher B. Roberts joined other university administration leaders for a special ceremony officially opening the campus’ newest classroom Friday afternoon.

Roberts was joined by Auburn board member Elizabeth Huntley and interim vice president Vini Nathan at the grand opening of the University Classroom and Laboratory Complex, or ACLC, a new facility. of 151,000 square feet adjacent to The Edge at Central Dining and the Auburn Amphitheater. University leaders, students and faculty officially opened the campus’s newest educational marvel during the festive ceremony.

Leaders at the land-grant institution have praised the new facility, which began welcoming students with the start of the fall semester a month ago.

“More than a decade ago, a group of faculty, staff, architects, and designers came together and began asking critical questions about how Auburn University might reinvent the teaching and learning,” Roberts said. “The result of these important conversations was the Central Classroom Facility program, an initiative to qualitatively improve many of Auburn’s outdated teaching spaces and transform our college community.”

The ACLC includes adaptable classrooms, laboratories, relaxation and study spaces, lecture halls and atriums and can accommodate up to 2,000 students at a time. The lower level of the building features a trio of spacious lecture halls that can accommodate 96, 200 and 300 students respectively, and faculty will have the ability to record and stream their lectures using the facility’s audio-visual technology.

Construction of the ACLC was overseen by Auburn Facilities Management and is part of a strategic facility initiative dating back more than a decade that included the construction of the Mell-class building which is attached to the Ralph Brown Draughon Library.

“It is a great day for our students, faculty, staff and alumni as we celebrate the culmination of years of work and commitment to make this incredible facility possible,” said Huntley, who chairs the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Directors. “I know I speak for the entire board when I say I am thrilled to share this with so many of our students and faculty, administrators, members of our facilities management and industry partners who have worked tirelessly to create this space for our university community. This building is such an important step toward realizing Auburn’s vision to elevate our academic facilities to be among the best of any university in the country.

With more than 30 total classrooms and labs available, ACLC ranks second to Haley Center in total classroom space on Auburn’s 2,100+ acre campus. The facility’s labs are also equipped with numerous workstations and preparatory lab spaces that include refrigeration units, HVAC systems, and safety showers. Designed as flexible teaching spaces, the rooms offer dual functionality as lab or classroom teaching areas.

“It’s inspiring to see something that started as a conversation turn into an idea that has now become a reality,” Acting Provost Vini Nathan said. “The ACLC represents many of the ideals that define Auburn, including excellence, ingenuity, and success. With nearly 4,300 of our freshmen taking at least one course at the ACLC this fall, we foster a academic environment that immerses our students in intellectual engagement and achievement from the start of their experience at Auburn.

The ACLC will primarily be used by the College of Science and Mathematics, or COSAM, the College of Humanities, the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, and the College of Liberal Arts. The building also includes over 12,000 square feet of space for informal learning, study, and small group work for students.

“I speak on behalf of all students at Auburn — especially the thousands of us who take classes inside this building every week — when I say the ACLC certainly lives up to the hype. “said Auburn Student Government Association President Jake Haston. “I can attest that the new technology, bright and airy classrooms and labs, and other expansive learning spaces are worth so much more than they appear. They allow us to find and develop our passions, connect and collaborate with others, challenge and grow our academic pursuits, and fully experience the benefits of an Auburn education.

“I am thrilled to join you in celebrating ACLC today because I know that my peers and I, and the tens of thousands of students who will enter this building upon graduation, will benefit from this space, this university and this experience. For the rest of their lives. It is certainly a cause for celebration.

The innovative facility is also the new home of the Biggio Center for Improving Teaching and Learning, a resource for Auburn faculty that “engages, supports and empowers the university’s academic community in every phase of the transformative learning process of university education”. Faculty members can use meeting and office space, relax and recharge in common areas, and work with Biggio Center staff and other colleagues to share innovative teaching and learning approaches .

ACLC’s design incorporates sustainable elements throughout the building, including more than 22,000 board feet of heritage wood harvested from 21 pine trees removed from the site. Featured on the walls and ceilings of breakout and gathering spaces throughout the building, reclaimed wood can also be seen in large conference rooms.

“Buildings like the ACLC create a rich environment for lifelong learning and enable our faculty to provide the kinds of academic and life training that, in turn, prepare our graduates to be innovative thinkers. and solve problems,” said Maggie Han, acting associate partner. Dean of Academic Affairs, Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics. “As Administrator Huntley said, this building is an investment in Auburn faculty. This type of investment strengthens the academic performance of our students. We are in the fifth week of the semester, and our faculty are already reporting better student engagement and higher test scores in courses taught in this building.

The three-story building is equipped with multiple elevators, is fully ADA compliant and accessible, and adds additional shelter from tornadoes and storms to the campus. With several sustainable features, ACLC pursues a silver level of certification with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification system. Construction of the building also coincided with the transformation of Graves Drive into a pedestrian concourse that helps establish a network of greenways/pedestrians that stretches from the Sportsplex at Lem Morrison Drive to the heart of campus.

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