The University of Hawaiʻi is proposing a bold new $1.2 billion capital improvement strategy that modernizes its classrooms, laboratories and offices while addressing its deferred maintenance backlog. Under the 6-Year Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Plan approved by the Board of Regents at its November 17 meeting, as buildings are renovated or replaced, classrooms and laboratories will be redesigned and recreated into quality learning and teaching spaces.
“Instead of traditional classrooms lined with rows of single desks, flexible furniture with various seating options can be utilized to encourage small group discussion and dynamic learning configurations,” said UH Vice President for Administration Jan Gouveia, who oversees the UH Office of Capital Improvements for UH’s ten campus system.
- Related UH News videos: 21st century classroom design cultivates collaboration (September 15, 2014) and New classroom and teaching technique tested at UH Mānoa (September 24, 2012)
“Our 6-Year CIP Plan takes into consideration multiple factors that comprehensively address the impact of aging facilities on the overall learning and research experience through the eyes of our students and faculty,” she continued.
Pivot toward prioritizing facility needs and capital investments
The 6-Year CIP Plan pivots away from the one-dimensional focus on deferred maintenance and capital renewal that simply restores facilities to their original state for their original purpose. Instead, the plan sets forth a new concept when approaching the prioritization of facility needs and capital investments at the university.
CIP plan’s working principals
- Target those facilities with the highest utility and poorest conditions through upgrades to the interior/exterior structures, building roofs, mechanical and electrical systems, pedestrian pathways and roadways.
- Prioritize classrooms, laboratories and student spaces with a focus on improving the learning and research environment.
- Rethink space as university space, rather than departmental space, and evaluate whether areas can be repurposed or consolidated to support priority programs and address facility needs through flexible and adaptable space management.
The plan is designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and communication while maximizing the efficiency of both the capital and operational dollar.