Burning Questions

As part of the application process to a PKAL Facilities Planning Workshop, each institutional team is asked to identify one question that they would like to see addressed at the workshop. Workshop presenters and participating institutional teams provide responses to these questions before and during the workshop.

From a quick review of "burning questions" submitted for the 1st PKAL Facilities Planning Workshop, the pressing issues for planning in 1992 were both distinct from and similar to those raised by 21st century facilities planning teams:

  • Our key issue is how to reconfigure spaces to respond to changes in the disciplines and to accommodate more student-faculty research, which is now constrained by configuration and amount of space.
  • How can we meet current codes for safety and accessibility?
  • Our key issue is that we know we need to start from scratch: we have increasing numbers of students (demands of a new general education program, a new environmental sciences program), thus increasing numbers of faculty, all now crowded into a facility with only one lecture space, inadequate laboratory space, nothing that would attract students into a community of science. Where to start?
  • We are at the end of a process of curricular revision, and realize if the new curriculum is to succeed, it will require spaces quite different from those we now have.
  • Our broad concerns at this point are the most efficient use of space, in the context of thinking about lab design, safety and the overall design of the facility.