10-250 Upgrades to Be Completed by Fall With New Seating, Audiovisual Equipment

Lecture hall 10-250, closed for renovations in the spring, will be bigger and brighter when it reopens for the first day of classes in the fall.

The renovation project is on schedule, and the upgrade will be “substantially complete by the middle of August,” said Assistant Registrar Peter D. Bedrosian.

Nearly everything in the lecture hall is being upgraded. Currently, new seating and audiovisual equipment are being installed, and the ceiling over the front of the room is being finished, said Bedrosian. Only the motorized chalkboards will remain unchanged, as they were replaced two years ago.The ceiling has been elevated, the dark overhang above the side steps eliminated, and the columns shaved and refined. These modifications, said Bedrosian, complement the new energy-efficient lights to provide an overall brighter appearance.

The purple seats will be replaced by maple-backed charcoal ones. While there will be fewer seats — 425 instead of 450 — they will be wider, at least 20 inches instead of 17 inches, said Bedrosian. To accommodate student laptop use, power outlets will be installed on the side of every seat, below each armrest.

Additionally, the carpet over the lecturer’s area is being removed in favor of a terrazzo floor which looks like granite. The carpet has already been taken out and the terrazzo floor is to be installed over the next few weeks, said Bedrosian.

The new audiovisual equipment will incorporate cameras dedicated to capturing classes for archival on OpenCourseWare, said Bedrosian. Previously, portable cameras had been used.

There will be a meeting in late August to familiarize faculty who teach in 10-250 with the new setup, Bedrosian said.

The full process of upgrading 10-250, last renovated in 1978, will have taken a full year since the feasibility study was completed last summer. “The classroom renovation program is ongoing with plans to renovate other large lecture halls and classrooms in the future,” Bedrosian said in an e-mail. “[There is] no decision yet on when or what the next project will be.”

The total project cost had been estimated earlier to be several million dollars based on the feasibility study. No new cost estimates were available last week.

The architects of the 1978 renovation and the current renovation are Architectural Resources Cambridge and Tommy Quirk of D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects, respectively. The latter also designed other MIT lecture halls such as 3-270 and 3-370.