Western Illinois’ College of Arts and Sciences is located in two 1960s-era buildings that have not undergone a significant renovation since their construction. The classroom and instructional laboratory spaces are not designed to support the 21st Century model of STEM education, where team-based learning and a more hands-on approach drives the curriculum.
RATIO is facilitating the reprogramming and conceptual design for the renovation of nearly 250,000 sq. ft. of space as well as a 120,000 sq. ft. expansion.
This transformation will focus not only on improvements within the instructional spaces but on the creation of the ‘extended classroom’ experience. The design creates student collaboration spaces, a sciences learning commons and other student-centered support spaces accomplished through designing labs that achieve a utilization standard of 24-hours per week. This has allowed a total reduction in the number of required labs, which significantly saves on cost to the university and also frees up space for the much needed student spaces.
The majority of the space houses the Departments of Chemistry, Biology and Physics as well as Psychology, Nursing, Geology and Geography.