Written by: Clarissa Alberto
With an anticipated increase in enrollment over the next few years, Southern Adventist University’s campus landscape is changing to accommodate more students and staff, according to Marty Hamilton, associate vice president for Financial Administration.
“We’re building a new [School of Business] building, and there will be a lot of classrooms, and then that frees up space in Brock Hall,” Hamilton said. “So, whether it’s History, English or the School of Journalism, when this new School of Business opens, we’ll have more square footage in that building which can take some pressure.”
Additionally, within two years, the Spalding Elementary School building will be part of Southern’s academic properties when the elementary school builds its new building.
“We may have a challenge this year when things are a little tight, but the new School of Business building opens up more classrooms, and Spalding Elementary will also give us lots of classrooms, lots of office space,” said Hamilton.
The university has already made changes to classroom spaces this year in response to the increased number of incoming students. For example, the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) is now teaching Communication and Public Speaking class on the second floor of the WSMC radio station.
The department normally teaches 14 sections of the gen-ed speech class. However, this fall semester, one online section was added, and roughly five more students were added to each section, adding 65 more students to the class.
According to Rachel Williams-Smith, dean of the SJC, the increased number of students in each class section required professors to adjust the class’ requirements in order to cover class material. This placed a heavier load on professors. Williams-Smith hopes this change will not be permanent since “this is not ideal for WSMC staff or students.”
However, Hamilton believes this change will last longer.
“I would say the SJC, in that situation [at] WSMC, easily is going to be in there for the next two to three years,” he said. “ … And it is not an ideal situation, but it is until we get more space.”