Modular move affects morale
Art students disappointed with the loss of former classrooms. | Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES
Updated: November 30 at 10:01 P.M.
The movement of the technical art department classes into Rood Hall and the shift of lecture classes and some faculty offices into the modulars has left students and faculty dismayed with the loss of their old home.
“I think everybody at the university would say it’s a less than desirable, less than optimal situation to have [classes and offices] in modulars, but right now we’re all trying to do our best to clear the way for the science building to move forward and do our part,” said Jonathan Puls, associate dean of fine arts and communications and associate professor of art.
The move of classrooms in itself has not posed many problems for students, since locations of the modulars are in close proximity to the current building.
“Luckily the modulars are really close to the art buildings so it hasn’t been too bad to migrate there, but at the same time, if every class is gonna be changed to the modulars that’s going to be problematic not just to our students, but the other students that attend classes here at these buildings,” said Nathanael Cho, freshman art major.
In regard to the technical classes, Puls explained the art department has been working with facilities management to accommodate the move of these classrooms to their new home in Rood Hall, which should be completed over interterm before demolition begins. Brian Phillips, director of facilities management, explained that the photo lab, computer lab, main office, elementary art classroom and painting and drawing classroom will all be relocated to Rood. Three art faculty offices have already been relocated and Puls said that faculty have tried to remain positive despite the dispersing of their department from a central location.
“I know the art faculty and the other faculty out there have actually been very gracious about being out there even though some of them left spaces that felt more permanent and were more connected to their departments,” Puls said.
Art students have expressed the way the relocation has made them feel discouraged about the way the university views the arts.
“I feel like now that Biola is creating different buildings, especially the new engineering and science building, I feel like they are kind of taking away the arts and not getting enough attention to the arts and I think that’s a little degrading and sad,” Cho said.
It is a common grievance of art students who feel their major is underappreciated, a feeling they believe is exasperated by this new move.
“It is already a sore spot for the art department because we already feel kind of marginalized and pushed to the side, so it’s just adds insult to injury because it’s like, ‘Yeah, of course they would,’” said Hope Daley, junior interdisciplinary art major.
A TEMPORARY SOLUTION
While it is currently unclear where some of the art classes will move when the science building is completed, the new modulars are only a temporary solution during construction.
“We’re leasing those, we don’t own them and I’ve got an agreement with the city that we can keep them for three years and then I would have to request an extension if we had another building project that needed modular space,” Phillips said.
Phillips explained that the completion of Emerson Hall’s transition to faculty offices over interterm will begin a domino effect of the movement of many other departments around campus. The first and largest of these will be the humanities moving into Emerson.
Transfers across campus will subsequently take place. The space available in Sutherland Hall will allow for Student Success to move to the first floor and the education department to move to the second floor. Enrollment management will then be moved to the modulars between Bardwell Hall and the Caf, and The Center for Marriage and Relationships will be moved into Rose Hall. This last move will open up space in the middle floor of Metzger to create a welcome center for prospective students that will be under construction beginning in summer of 2016.