By Craig Chamberlain A dozen classrooms in Gregory Hall will get major renovation work this summer, at a cost of $400,000. By the end of the summer of 1995, plans are to spend another $1.6 million on other classrooms - another dozen in Gregory Hall, eight in Davenport Hall, three in the Transportation Building, and one each in Mumford Hall and Roger Adams Lab. That adds up to $2 million spent in fiscal year 1995, and campus administrators hope to spend $2 million for the same purpose in each of the subsequent four years. If the necessary funding can be maintained, the five-year, $10 million program will renovate all of the general-purpose classrooms and auditoriums deemed to need work - about 70 percent of the 400 on campus. Additional money - about $370,000 in fiscal year 1995 and about $2 million total over five years - will be used to purchase new audio, video and projection equipment. "That's the plan, but we have to be able to come up with the money," says Larry R. Faulkner, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. The sources of funds have been determined for the coming year's work. If the university receives the state appropriation specified in Gov. Jim Edgar's recommended budget, the campus can be more confident in proceeding with the full plan, Faulkner said. According to Walter C. Tousey, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, about one-third of classroom renovation funds and about one-quarter of equipment funds are likely to come through campus reallocation. The classroom renovation plan was developed by the Office of Facility Planning and Management based on recommendations in a spring 1992 report from the Urbana-Champaign Senate Task Group on Instructional Facilities Development. In the process of development, the office consulted with a Task Group on Classroom Remodeling. In recent years, the funds available for classroom renovation have been limited, said Don Wack, associate director of the Office of Facility Planning and Management. From about 1987 to 1992, the budget available for such work, coming mostly from state capital appropriations for specific projects, was only $250,000 to $500,000 per year. "We were just kind of keeping even," Wack said, with the emphasis put on maintaining larger classrooms, seating over 200. "We were fixing up large rooms and putting out fires in smaller rooms," he said. Over the last two years, spending was increased to $750,000 to $1 million per year, Wack said. Originally put together on a 10-year timetable, the classroom renovation plan would have continued spending at about $1 million per year. But Chancellor Michael Aiken made classroom renovation an even higher priority after coming to campus last summer and asked that funding be found to accomplish the plan in five years rather than 10. In explaining his support, Aiken pointed to the university's basic mission of research, teaching and public service. "What we want is to be excellent in all of these areas," he said. "What that means is we need up-to-date and modern classrooms just as we need up-to-date and modern research facilities." Quality instruction, Aiken said, is "not just what the faculty member does in front of the classroom or what the TA does in front of the discussion group, it's the quality of the facilities." According to Faulkner, who became provost in January, other problems took priority in recent years, and "we didn't have the latitude" to do more with classrooms. Much of recent construction and renovation work has been on research and service space, and "it's time we pay attention to our instructional space," he said. "I think it's the right thing to do." Many rooms are not up to modern standards, especially for accommodating audio, video or projection equipment. "A lot of rooms don't even have basic electrical service, or outlets aren't in the right places," Faulkner said. Many also are lacking adequate projection screens, proper lighting, quality blackboards, shades for blocking out sunlight, air conditioning and modern seating. Wack noted that some rooms in Davenport Hall probably have not been painted in 20 years, and some rooms in David Kinley Hall still have the original seating. The improved classrooms will benefit teachers as well students, Faulkner said. "I think faculty members who teach in them teach better, and the students learn better." Aiken said the classroom renovation work is "really the first leg of a three-leg stool" that represents needed investments in instructional facilities over the coming years. The second leg represents significant spending in multimedia and other educational technology for classrooms, so that instructors can take advantage of the latest teaching methods and resources. The size or cost of this effort has yet to be determined, Aiken said. The third leg represents spending needed to renovate instructional labs, currently estimated at $25 million to $35 million. Administrators do not yet have the full picture in this area, and a source or sources for those funds has not be identified, Aiken said. With classrooms being taken out of service on a regular basis over the next few years, those remaining will get a little more use, meaning a few more early morning and late afternoon classes. And some instructors may have to teach in unfamiliar settings for a semester or two, Wack said. "We're trying to do everything we can during the summer," he said, but a lot of work will still have to be done in fall or spring. "I think it's going to be more inconvenience than disruption," Wack said.