‘Space utilization’ discussed at deans’ meeting

Account managers from the company Sightlines presented an analyzation of the space utilization at Marshall University at the deans’ meeting Tuesday morning.

Dan Willman and James Ireland defined “space utilization” as the way an institution operates their classroom, lab and storage rooms.

“We’ve walked in about 570 classrooms in the on-campus and off-campus locations,” William said. “It’s important to identify opportunities where you can be potentially more efficient with the space available.”

Ireland said their analysis tends to be more “data-saturated,” so the deans and administration are well informed and can make better business decisions with statistics to refer to.

“You all are the strategic decision makers; we just want to give you the information you need in order to be informed,” Ireland said.

Both Willman and Ireland said they want more students to become aware and engaged with the analyzation of the university. They said a “four-year mentality” tends to keep students from feeling involved with long-term plans for a university, but student involvement can be one of the most powerful forces behind change.

“Smith [Hall], Corbly [Hall], Harris [Hall], and the Science Building are where the most space is on campus,” Willman said. “It’s almost a guarantee a student will spend time in one of these buildings in their educational career; these spaces are starting to show some wear and tear.”

Sightlines is no stranger to the university setting; they work with over 450 universities in America and Canada, most of them on a yearly basis.

Despite the wear and tear of some on-campus buildings, Willman and Ireland said the technology at Marshall was “good, sometimes inconsistent, but overall very good.”

“We are trying to standardize [this issue] better and give more clarity on what kind of condition every space is in,” Willman said. “The physical condition of a classroom or lab can really impact the educational environment. We’re here to give you three things: data, photos and knowledge. It’s up to you guys how you want to process and utilize our help.”

Brooke Estep can be contacted at [email protected].