The Pitt News

Pitt reopens David Lawrence Hall after renovations

By Elizabeth Lepro / Assistant News Editor

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Students who have classes in David Lawrence Hall this semester will get to breathe in that new-classroom smell.

The building, which has been under construction since May 2014 and cost more than $7 million, opened to the public at an open house that ran from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Changes to David Lawrence Hall include the division of the large lecture hall into two reoriented, soundproof lecture halls, three renovated classrooms on the first floor, seven classrooms on the second floor, bathrooms in the basement and a renovated lobby area.

Construction company FSS Facilities Service Management, LLC built the lecture halls to block out sound from the outside. The rooms are now reoriented to limit the space between the lecturer and the last chair in each lecture hall, according to University Registrar Patti Mathay.

Loretta Killeen, project architect and manager, said the building is the product of collaboration between many different departments, architectural firms, Pitt’s Facilities Services Department and the Office of the Provost, which provided the funding for the project.

Pitt’s Computing Services and Systems Development also had a hand in the new design.

Edward Gyurisin, manager of Engineering Systems and Integration at Pitt, worked with CSSD to initiate a wireless app called Solstice that allows students and faculty to project presentations from their laptops, tablets or phones.

This technology is available in the second floor classrooms, which also have mobile chairs, desks and whiteboards covering each wall. Mathay said project managers designed these rooms for versatility and collaborative group work.

“We don’t want to do something that’s not going to work well with people,” Mathay said.

Students, faculty and administration attended the open house to check out the new space.

Junior economics major Zach Keller said the new classrooms were “worth the wait.”

“It’s really functional,” Keller said. “Everything is new and has a new smell. I’d like to have a class in here.”

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper
Pitt reopens David Lawrence Hall after renovations