Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Future
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, current students of Embry-Riddle had the opportunity to help future students by expressing their voice and opinions on the needed improvements of the campus and facilities. Students and faculty met in the lower hangar to talk with architects and also make suggestions by creating sticky notes and placing them on poster boards. Some of the ideas generated by the students and staff involved suggestions for increasing space through larger buildings and smarter use of the interior, having technology implemented more effectively in the library and classrooms, and having buildings dedicated to creating a space that supports student innovation.
Students and staff were mainly concerned with increasing interior building space to help accommodate more people as the student body increases. They suggested creating a building larger than the Activity Center to help support huge events like the Career Fair or Preview Day. They also suggested having a parking garage on campus for all the cars of the students, staff, and visitors. Another concern regarding the increase in space is expanding the wind tunnel and having more study rooms in the library. In addition, students also suggested implementing technology throughout the campus. Students would like to have furniture that has charging ports and electronic stands. There was also interest in incorporating Smart-boards in libraries and classrooms. Finally, students would like more computer labs. Students and staff suggested the creation of new buildings for future students. Some new buildings proposed were a student project center, an engineering club space lab, and buildings that offer more food options.
The creation of a new structure consists of seven steps: idealization, evaluation, funding, final approval, pre-construction, construction, and delivery. The first step mainly involves students and staff: having a need and coming up with a solution. After the idea is brought up to the Board of Trustees, an evaluation is done by a review committee, engineers, architects, and master planners to come up with a proposal and sketch of the design. After there is a loose plan created, the next step is to get proper funding through either a grant, local/state funding, or an organization like the Philanthropy of Alumni Engagement. The final step of the planning process is to get approval through the Board of Trustees. Once the Board of Trustees has given a thumbs up to the idea, it is brought back to the architects, engineers, and stakeholders to create a detailed blueprint of the design. Eventually, when all the details have been finalized, the construction company begins its long process of assembly. After months and years of hard work, the finished product is presented to the administration, Board of Trustees, and stakeholders for final approval.
The Architect Meeting was a way to accumulate the perspectives of the students and faculty to gather their input on the campus. This was the first step of a long process of converting an idea into a reality. The campus is constantly evolving and the future is inevitable. Once the building has gone through the cycle, it is ready to be worn in and used for years to come!