As part of the phased reoccupation of Norris Hall, the university is evaluating new uses for the former classrooms on the second floor.

President Charles Steger has asked University Provost Mark McNamee to chair an ad hoc task force to invite and develop recommendations for the use of the space by Dec. 1, 2007.

A feasibility study is underway to evaluate infrastructure capabilities and will inform the work and recommendations of the task force. Members of the task force include:

  • Judy Alford, learning technologies assistant and president of Staff Senate Association;
  • Richard Benson, Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering;
  • Jacqueline Bixler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature;
  • Karen DePauw, vice provost and dean, Graduate School;
  • Michael Hochella, University Distinguished Professor of Geosciences;
  • Adeel Khan, undergraduate student and president of the Student Government Association;
  • William Knocke, department head and W. Curtis English Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and chair of the Department Heads Council;
  • Kevin McDonald, vice president for multicultural affairs;
  • Joseph McFadden, graduate student and president of the Graduate Student Assembly;
  • Jerzy Nowak, department head and professor of horticulture;
  • Sue Ott-Rowlands, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The task force invites proposals for future uses from the entire university community, including the families and friends of victims of the April 16 tragedy. A call for submissions and more information about the space is available on the Provost’s website, or by contacting Bethany Flora at 540-231-7242.

Preliminary proposals are due Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007.

Most of Norris Hall is occupied by College of Engineering programs and includes academic and administrative offices, laboratories, storage and support facilities, and computer rooms. A decision has been made that the classrooms will not be reassigned to their former use, nor will they be a site for a public memorial or museum commemorating the events of April 16. Pre-proposals may focus on program concepts and need not be concerned with drawings or cost estimates. All pre-proposals will be considered by the task force.

The task force is committed to an inclusive and transparent process. Task force recommendations will be advisory to President Steger who will make the final decision about the allocation of the designated space in Norris Hall.

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