New classrooms open in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
The new classrooms were inspired by Wharton buildings in San Francisco
January 9, 2013, 12:05 am·
Amanda Suarez | DP
Enter Steinberg-Dietrich Hall. Go downstairs and through a set of doors on the right.
This will lead to the two new classrooms that are set to open for student use today, after almost a year of planning and building.
“We are very pleased to debut the newly renovated … classrooms,” Senior Director of Wharton Operations Maria O’Callaghan-Cassidy said in an email. “With the opening of the classrooms we are on track to deliver the tower’s upper floors later this spring.”
As reported previously in The Daily Pennsylvanian, construction for Steinberg-Dietrich Hall has been underway since May of last year.
The Wharton School is looking to expand and enhance the building with the addition of 32 new faculty offices, two classrooms, a lawn area, a new West entrance and glass tower. Currently, only the two classrooms are available for use. The rest of the renovations will be completed this summer.
According to the last estimate from Facilities and Real Estate Services, the project will cost $15.9 million.
The renovations are also targeting a silver certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. For example, a lot of the technology used in the classrooms is environmentally friendly, according to Senior Director of Public Technology at Wharton David Siedell.
The classrooms feature a new and advanced technological system, including a completely digital system that is built to accept technological devices currently on the market, such as smartphones, iPads and other tablets.
“It will allow [professors] to interact with the content,” he said.
In addition to serving as a lecture space, Siedell said, “With proximity to Joe’s Café, it’s a good event space.”
The space is based on work previously done in the Wharton buildings in San Francisco, which hold many large recruiting events, according to Siedell. The rooms are adapted to easily accommodate for such large events, with high definition cameras and entire room audio capture.
Siedell believes that the new classrooms will be easy to use for professors. “It is simple to the end users, with less buttons.”
MBA student William Hennes, who attended class in one of these rooms yesterday, said that his professor thought the new whiteboard technology was like that used during the election coverage.
“He doesn’t really know how to use it,” Hennes said.
Hennes himself was content with the new classrooms. “I thought it was overall good. The center section is a little larger so it is easier to see.”
Additionally, he said the professor didn’t need a microphone to project, “which I thought was neat.”
MBA student Catalina Vejo, also liked the renovations. “It’s my first class in this building, [and] the classrooms look nice.”
Vejo added that she liked the fact that the classrooms are right next to Joe’s Café.
Hennes said that although he liked Huntsman Hall more, the new construction in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall “looks like it could be just as nice.”