By Connor Ciecko
Over the last year, the College of Media at the University of Illinois has been renovating three classrooms in Gregory Hall. Rooms 13, 29 and 31 have been completely revamped and updated to help provide the best possible experience to University students.
13, dedicated as the Richard L Hildwein Photography Lab after the late professor, still serves as a computer lab but has been rearranged and upgraded with all new computers. The new space is much brighter and quieter than it was pre-renovation. When COVID restrictions are lifted, the lab can comfortably hold 25 students for lecture and open lab work.
The biggest change has been made to 29 and 31; what was previously one room with two numbers has been divided back into two rooms, each with a vastly different purpose. 29 is now a small production studio with a green screen and two different colors of rear curtain for photography and video projects, and the College is currently in the process of getting lighting and video equipment for the studio space thanks in part to the generous donation from Rich and Leslie Frank in the fall.
Room 31 is now what the College calls and “iFlex Classroom,” and can be adapted to fit the needs of the specific class and instructor using the space. The tables and chairs are all on wheels for easy reorganization, and the outside wall of the rooms is adorned with internet-connected televisions for sharing lecture slides, videos, and presentations with the class or in small groups.
Looking forward to the future, UI7’s own Richmond Studio is going to be seeing an overhaul set to be completed in 2022. This will include all new lighting, camera and audio equipment, a new set, and an all new newsroom, computer lab, and office space. The Richmond update was also made possible by the generous gift from the Franks.