Group Study Rooms in Huntsman Hall are getting a $550,000 upgrade — not including carpets and furniture.
The Wharton School will install $10,000 worth of technology in each GSR over the summer break, starting from the rooms on the Forum level.
All GSR renovations will be completed by 2016.
During last semester, two prototype GSRs — F66 and F67 — drew about 200 students to test the rooms’ new features and give suggestions. Wharton Computing and Information Technology based the GSR renovation plan on students’ feedback.
Wharton computing will continue to analyze feedback and adjust its plans accordingly.
“A lot of decisions were shaped by students. Some of their comments really bring us an ‘aha’ moment,” Sarah Spaulding, the IT director of Wharton Computing, said.
This is the first major renovation of Huntsman’s GSRs since the building opened 12 years ago, David Siedell, the senior director of Wharton Computing, said.
The Daily Pennsylvanian took a look at the planned renovations.
Students will be able to display their devices — including laptops, smartphones and tablets — on the screen through a wireless connection. “Students have told us that they don’t necessarily need so many types of inputs [for projection],” Siedell said, “so we decided to change it to wireless connection, which will save us a lot of time and efforts.”
Other wires and plugs for laptops will be one the side of the counter, instead of in the middle of the table and. The plug outlet will include a USB drive plug-in.
“We understand that ease of use is really important,” Spaulding said. “If you only book the room for an hour, you don’t want to spend 10 minutes figuring them out.”
The bigger screens seen in rooms F66 and F67 will be implemented throughout Huntsman GSRs because of positive student feedback.
Thomas Ruer, a second-year Wharton MBA student, said he likes that the TV screen in F67 can be moved slightly to face toward the inner side of the room. “If you can see the screen from outside, then it’s not very private,” he said.
Ruchi Shah, a second-year Master’s of Environmental Studies student, says that she likes the big screen, which is “good for discussion.” The screen will also display how much time students have left and the names of the people with the next reservation
One of the most popular features of the prototype GSRs was the whiteboard wall, Siedell said.
“The coolest thing is the new white board, which enables us to freely express [ourselves],” Banruo Zhou, a Wharton junior who attended the new GSR open house last semester.
Students voted on a chair, which will be easier to clean. Carpets will also be in tiles, instead of a single piece, making it easier to clean and substitute pieces.