The Illustrative Campus Plan drawing shows a small addition to Gilmer Hall. This 2,500 GSF footprint represents a modest increase in space for all departments in the building biology, chemistry, and physics. According to science faculty, the existing Gilmer Hall was designed in 1967 to accommodate a student population of about 1,200; the building opened in 1968. For most purposes the building is wholly adequate and has successfully been updated to incorporate computer and network uses, but the teaching of science has changed since the building was designed, and internal adaptations have put pressure on the amount of useful space.
All the departments have relatively modest needs for increased space. These needs include: proper faculty offices, as small research labs and lab prep rooms have been converted to offices; seminar rooms and small classrooms, as some teaching spaces have been converted to offices or to computer uses; and faculty research spaces, since modern science is taught by teaching students by way of active involvement doing science.
An addition of about 7,500 GSF of space is envisioned on three levels. The addition has been located within and above the large lecture room, Gilmer 019, reducing the size of the lecture room. The lecture room is a one-story appendage to the otherwise three-level facility. The science faculty envision renovation to create a smaller multimedia classroom, which would be more functionally suitable for current-day science instruction. The present lecture hall has 216 seats, which is too large for typical courses scheduled and not as user friendly as desired.