Architecture Firm Wins Award for Transformative Design

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Redesigned Classroom
Mathematics Professor Jason Furney works with students in a redesigned learning space in Ferrante Hall. Holt Architects recently won an award for the project..

The company which designed one of Onondaga Community College's eye-catching learning spaces was recognized recently for its outstanding work. Holt Architects received an award from the Organization of the American Institute of Architects for its innovate redesign of a classroom in Ferrante Hall. During the summer of 2018 two traditional classroom spaces were transformed into the classroom of the future with bright colors, shiny metal, and the latest in instructional technology which incorporates multiple disciplines.

“I like the environment. It’s definitely more inviting and it’s easier to follow what the professor is teaching,” said Cassy Conklin, a student from Crest High School in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. “This is much better than just sitting in a classroom and listening to someone speak. The technology gets you involved in your own learning,” said Emily Biggs who came to OCC from East Bay Senior High School in Tampa.

Both students were enrolled in Professor Jason Furney’s Intermediate Algebra class. He was one of the first faculty members to have the opportunity to teach in the new classroom. “I love the technology. The technology in here encourages more group work,” said Furney. “We want to have classrooms and workspaces which encourage more than just sitting in a row and starring at the professor the whole time. This space is perfect for that.”

The technology includes:

  • Two electronic, interactive Microsoft Whiteboards which can be fully matrixed with 7 other monitors in the classroom.
  • AirMedia which allows a laptop to be wirelessly connected to the network of monitors.
  • Glass boards instead of standard dry erase boards.
  • Four pan, tilt, zoom cameras mounted to the ceiling along with multiple microphones which can be used for web conferencing.
  • Assistive Listening.
  • A document camera in the ceiling.

There is also a smaller room in the front for emerging technologies which can accommodate multiple work stations. The windows contain electrified glass which can be used to transform them from translucent to opaque, allowing both the smaller room and the large classroom to be used simultaneously without distracting others.

Onondaga Community College