It’s been more than 40 years since the Schindler Education Center was first built. At the time, it was the first building to serve as a central hub for students and faculty in the College of Education, even though the university had been preparing educators as far back as 1876.
The building was, at the time, heralded as a state-of-the-art education center designed to serve the changing philosophies and methods of teacher education.
But in the four decades since, things have changed. What was once at the forefront of teacher education in higher education had become outdated, no longer able to serve the needs of modern students who would be expected to lead classrooms in the 21st century.
Over 18 months, the building was gutted as part of an extensive redesign spearheaded by individuals specializing in educational facilities. Hundreds of different people -- including architects, designers, engineers, plumbers, electricians and construction specialists, many of them from the local area -- worked together to renovate the entire building.
The core elements of the redesign were technology, collaboration and flexibility, which are all represented in the distinctive classrooms now housed within the building.
The Collaborative Active-Learning Transformative (C.A.T.) Lab is a high-tech classroom comes complete with eight wall-mounted monitors and an oversized projection screen that can function independently or as a network, allowing students to engage in small and large group activities.
The DaVinci Studios offer a learning environment that promotes collaboration between different disciplines, which is essential to any student’s growth and development. This learning space represents a unique blend of science, technology, engineering and math with the arts (STEAM).
The Sandbox classroom is furnished with a variety of different types of educational furniture to create a modern classroom that has the ability to adapt to the needs of its students.
The student lounge areas have also been enhanced to create a more welcoming atmosphere, in particular the G.R.E.A.T. Room, or Gerdin Resource Exchange for the Advancement of Teaching. When you walk into the building, you’re greeted with a variety of comfortable seating options, not to mention abundant daylighting from the clerestory.
On that same level is the HNI Corporation Instructional Resource and Technology Services (IRTS) Lab, where students develop learning experiences for their classrooms using different resources. These include lesson plans, curriculum, books, reference materials and technology.
The renovated building was rededicated at a ceremony on March 31, 2017.