Adapting Doudna 103

February 22, 2017
Doudna 103 before reno

Updated 032917: Photos 11-24 (see below)

If you have taken (or taught) “gen eds” at UW-Platteville, you are undoubtedly familiar with Doudna 103 a.k.a. the Thomas B. Lundeen Lecture Hall. Those who have been around for a while may remember it as The Little Theater. Over the years the room has gone through a handful of renovations that tweaked its functionality to meet the needs of the times.  This spring, Information Technology Services is involved in perhaps the most significant renovation to date, one that serves to reinvent Doudna 103 as a modern learning space.

Prior to demolition last December, Doudna 103 was a 182-seat lecture hall that met fire codes but was not ADA-compliant nor was it as conducive to learning as it could be.  Seats were close together and the slope of the floor steep.  The audio-visual technology had been improved when resources were available, but some of the remaining items had been in operation for over 12 years. The current technology no longer met the needs of the diverse uses of this space.

Upon completion in late summer 2017, Doudna 103 will seat 166 with options that accommodate different learning styles and provide a better audience experience. Students will have a choice of fixed table seating or tablet armchair seating with more space between seats. The room will feature power near each student station for personal devices and multiple wireless access points to improve connectivity. Enhanced audio features will allow for the easy addition of extra microphones when hosting guest speakers and panel discussions. 

Technologically speaking, Doudna 103 will be similar to Doudna 136. Most notable differences from 136 will be a single projection screen with a large venue laser light source projector and an annotation tablet instead of an interactive whiteboard. There will be improved audio-visual distribution within the space thanks to HDbaseT, a high-capacity through-put technology that allows high definition video and audio, multiple types of control, and Ethernet within the same cable. New conduits in the floors rather than the ceiling will make updates easier as well. 

According to Tim Trendt, one of Media Technology Services (MTS) consultants on the project, the advantage of this technology is future-proofing. “Advances in video resolution and capacity, for example, can be made without having to rip everything back out.”

While most UW campuses hire consultants for audio-visual and IT design of their large projects, here at UW-Platteville we prefer to do the work in-house, providing input at each phase of the project, from concept to final system checkout.  Working in-house also allows increased engagement with faculty, staff, and students to ensure we build a space that meets their range of needs. Finally, it reduces consulting costs that can then be put back into the project.

A project the size of the Doudna 103 renovation requires collaboration of numerous campus entities and individuals. In addition to members of the Media Technology Services and System & Infrastructure teams in ITS, this project is the result of efforts from Facilities, Campus Planning, the Registrar’s Office, the Provost’s Office, and Dean of College of LAE.

Contributors: Colleen Garrity and Tim Trendt with Deb Meyer

Updated Photo Gallery 03.24.17

Check out photos 11-24 for the progress of Doudna 103.

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