JSU remodels biology classroom with REAL grant

Brittany RobertsonStaff Writer

Over the summer, Jacksonville State University’s Martin Hall received an extreme makeover that has everyone talking.

Dr. Chris Murdock of the Biology department applied for the REAL Classroom Design Initiative this past summer in hopes of receiving funds to benefit the department. The grant helped to outfit classroom 250 with new paint, new carpet, new desks and updated technology. This grant came from the Faculty Commons Department and has gone to benefit the School of Science.

“They came in and prepped the walls, painted, put new lights in,” Murdock said. “There was not any structural damage, but it still took several months to complete the remodel. All of the old infrastructure was taken out—they took all the old desks out and everything. We really just started with a blank slate.”


Room 250 in Martin Hall was remodeled this summer. (photo by Hollie Ivey/The Chanticleer)

With new desks and new technology, the biology classroom is able to incorporate elements of interactivity that is not seen in any other academic building on campus. The rolling desks allow for students to easily transition from rows of students to small or large groups. The newly installed projectors can either project onto whiteboards or serve as interactive smart boards. The technology was not part of the grant but instead came from funds generated by the student technology fee.

“The technology was supplied to us by the IT Department,” Murdock said. “I think it’s important to let students know that this is where your technology fee goes. The nice thing about the projector [in the renovated room] is that it projects on a whiteboard. So, if we have any faculty members that do not want use the smart board, and they just want to use the whiteboard, they can turn the projector off and you can write on the board.”

Murdock said he has heard only positive feedback from students.

“The new room is pretty cool. I actually look forward to going to class,” senior Carter Robertson said.

Martin Hall was not the only building with renovated rooms. Merrill Hall recently renovated their Finance Lab and fourteen classrooms that are used by various professors in the back of Merrill. Each room has a different colored back wall, matching rolling chairs, tables and carpeting.

See the remodeling in Merrill Hall below! Photos by Hollie Ivey

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