The Western Michigan UniversityLee Honors College will celebrate its 50th anniversary in a newly renovated building this year with new tech-savvy learning labs and an outdoor classroom.
“We wanted to rethink the way people learn today, which is in teams and hand-on,” said Lee Honors College Dean Nicholas Andreadis. “The relationship between the instructor and student in the Honors College is engaged and intuitive and we wanted a space that fosters that, while still bringing the rest of the world into the facility.”
The university finished the $1.7-million, privately-funded renovation project this summer after a year of construction. The building, next to the new Sangren Hall, has twice as many classrooms and was expanded by 4,000 square feet.
The new 8,400-square-foot facility has a small library adorned with leather couches, a seasonal, outdoor classroom with amphitheater-style seating, and a renovated student lounge. The outdoor classroom is specifically designed to give professors the option of bringing students outdoors for discussion in the “Socratic method of teaching,” according to Andreadis.