New upgrades are being made in the Crawford building for the 2019- 2020 school year.
The elevators in the building and classrooms on the fourth floor are being modernized by Facilities and IT Instructional Technology.
An email was sent out through fitforum on June 19 by Cheryl LeBlanc, director of Facilities Operations, notifying the Florida Tech community about the elevators in Crawford being replaced.
The Crawford building elevator modernization project began on June 24 of this year with Dewey Yeatts, director of facilities management, as the project manager.
According to Yeatts, the elevators were 30 years old and worn out, with their inspection certificate expired on Aug. 01, 2018.
Once Facilities noticed that the certification expired, the approval process for modernizing the elevators was immediate, Yeatts said.
“The state elevator inspector is in the process of inspecting all campuswide elevators,” Yeatts said. “The new certificates for all elevators will be received probably by the end of August.”
Even though they were expired, Yeatts said he did not want to start renovating the elevators while students were in school.
The modernization process will run from June to October, with each elevator taking eight weeks to complete.
The new modernized elevators in Crawford were part of a new maintenance contract with Thyssenkrupp, a German multinational conglomerate that focuses on industrial engineering and steel production.
The modernization project for the Crawford elevators cost around $330,000, according to Yeatts.
Other recent elevators that were modernized include the ones in the Link Building in the 2012-2013 school year, University Plaza in the 2017- 2018 school year and Evans Library in the 2018-2019 school year.
The Crawford elevators were not the only things to get modernized in the building, however.
Over the summer, Information Technology renovated the classrooms on the fourth floor in Crawford to include new chairs and new boards.
John Meyer, IT director of instructional technology, said that this is part of a new classroom learning initiative created by President McCay earlier in the year.
According to Meyer, the Crawford fourth floor classrooms were the last multi-use rooms to be updated in over 10 years.
“Most other classrooms in Crawford have been renovated within the last five years,” Meyer said. “We are glad that we have the support from the highest level of campus leadership to make these upgrades that have been needed for many years.”
The classroom renovations included a new coat of paint on the walls, new carpeting, LED lighting, ceiling speakers, a full multimedia lectern, two 80-inch televisions, USB wall charging outlets and phone casting projection technology.
The multimedia lectern is a reading podium found in most classrooms, with a new console added to control settings for the projector and computer.
Professors and students can touch the projector screens to make annotations on the new lectern and save them as portable formats.
They are similar to the one found in the classroom in the Digital Scholarship Lab on the second floor of the library.
Annie Caza, a professor in the School of Arts and Communications, said she noticed these new changes when she walked into the classroom for the first time.
“My initial reaction was a big, ‘Wow!’” Caza said. “I love the new vibrant colors of red and lime green. From a teaching point of view, the new orientation of seating allows the students to see what is on the board easier.”
There are also new modular movable tables in the classroom, which will improve facilitating group work, Caza said.
Meyers said that Instructional Technology is planning on upgrading the Olin Engineering labs rooms 117, 130 and 132; Shepherd classrooms 107 and 108; Harris Institute room 122 and the Quad classrooms.
“Classroom renovation is a continuous process and we try to prioritize those with the oldest equipment,” Meyers said.
While IT continues with classroom upgrades over the school year, the east elevator modernization will be completed around mid-August and the west elevator will be completed in mid-October.
LeBlanc stated in the email that one elevator would remain usable throughout the whole modernization project.