Auburn University opened a state-of-the-art academic classroom and laboratory complex with the start of the fall semester

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As students return to campus for the new academic year, thousands begin the fall semester in a new facility designed to support Auburn’s commitment to elevating teaching and learning.

The Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex, or ACLC, is a new 151,000-square-foot facility adjacent to Central Dining and the Edge of Auburn Amphitheater that includes customizable classrooms, laboratories, break and study areas, lecture halls and atriums and can be accommodated. 2,000 students at a time. The lower level of the building has spacious lecture halls with seating for 96, 200 and 300 students respectively, and faculties can record and broadcast their lectures using the facility’s audio-visual technology.

Additionally, the facility’s laboratories are equipped with numerous work stations and prep lab spaces that include refrigeration units, HVAC systems and safety showers. Designed as flexible teaching spaces, the rooms offer dual functionality as both laboratories or classroom instruction areas.

With a total of more than 30 classrooms and laboratories available, ACLC is second only to the Haley Center in total classroom space on Auburn’s 2,100-acre campus.

“ACLC is a strategic investment in Auburn’s next-generation learning spaces and reflects our institution’s commitment to building for the future,” said Interim Provost Winnie Nathan. “After years of planning and development, ACLC demonstrates how technology and design can effectively facilitate innovation and collaboration, contributing to an exceptional experience for our students.”

ACLC will be used primarily by the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, the College of Human Sciences., College of Architecture, Design and Construction, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts. The building also includes more than 12,000 square feet of space for informal learning, study and breakout work for students.

“I saw the building go up last year, and I liked the way they designed it,” said Matthew Hill, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. “I think it’s very modern. I run by here every morning, and I always look at it and I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s an amazing piece of work over there.’

“I certainly think Auburn does a great job of making sure all of its students are taken care of and that they all have the resources they need to succeed.”

The innovative facility is also the new home for the Bizio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, a resource for Auburn faculty that “engages, supports and empowers the university’s academic community at every stage of the transformative learning process.” Faculty members can utilize meeting and office space, relax and recharge in common areas, and work with Biggio Center staff and other colleagues to share innovative teaching and learning approaches.

“ACLC demonstrates Auburn’s commitment to student-centered and innovative teaching and learning,” said Asim Ali, executive director of the Biggio Center. “By embracing unique features of the space such as movable furniture, group seating, screen sharing and glass boards, our faculty are creating an engaging environment that leads to strong learning outcomes.”

ACLC’s design incorporates sustainable elements throughout the building, including 22,000 board feet of heritage lumber cut from 21 pine trees removed from the site. Painted on the walls and ceilings of breakout and huddle spaces throughout the building, reclaimed wood can also be seen in the large lecture halls.

“The technology here is very updated, and it allows me to open a lot more windows that maybe I wouldn’t have before,” said Heather Haskell, a math lecturer who teaches at the facility. “It allows more students to come in and benefit from what Auburn has to offer.”

The three-story building is equipped with multiple elevators, is fully ADA compliant and accessible and adds additional tornado and hurricane shelter to the campus. With many sustainable features, ACLC is pursuing a silver certification level with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification System, or LEED. Construction of the building also coincided with the transformation of Graves Drive into a pedestrian thoroughfare that would help establish a greenway/pedway network extending from the sportsplex on Lem Morrison Drive into the heart of campus.

“ACLC is the flagship project of the Central Classroom Facilities Program, which began in 2011 with the goal of qualitatively improving older teaching spaces on campus,” said Brad Prater, Auburn campus architect serving as design project manager for ACLC. “This building is the culmination of more than 10 years of work and adds to the growing body of knowledge surrounding 21st century learning and teaching facilities. Auburn’s building increases the amount of active learning classrooms on campus by 40%, strengthening the university’s commitment to deep, engaged learning and student success.” makes.”

Construction of the ACLC was overseen by Auburn Facilities Management and is part of a more than decade-long strategic facilities initiative that includes the construction of the Mail Classroom Building connected to the Ralph Brown Draughon Library. The momentum of that initiative will continue later this fall when the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center also opens.

President Christopher B. Roberts and other Auburn University leaders will be on hand for the official ACLC opening following the Auburn Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, Sept. 16, and all members of the Auburn family are invited to attend.

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