The School of Education at Kansas University looks forward to its move to new quarters.
With construction on Joseph R. Pearson Hall well under way, Karen Gallagher is spending almost as much time on her carpentry skills as she is overseeing her school's academic programs.
Gallagher, dean of the School of Education at Kansas University, isn't pounding nails and pouring concrete, but she is an active participant in construction of the $14 million building that will be home to the School of Education beginning in fall 2000. The building on West Campus Road was once a men's residence hall.
"Every Tuesday, I attend a progress meeting at the new building," Gallagher said.
The reason: It will be up to Gallagher and other faculty members to guide the finishing touches and determine how the space in the new building will be used.
Among the improvements: 25,000 square feet of additional space on the east side of the existing structure, media classrooms, distance-learning opportunities, new instructional facilities, offices and seminar rooms.
"We're setting up things we've never had before," Gallagher said.
"We're taking everybody out of Bailey Hall, and we're bringing people from Dole. We're going to have a counseling and psych center and media design rooms. We'll have a curriculum library with copies of all the adopted texts in Kansas."
That library, currently housed in the Dole Human Development and Family Life Center, is down to about one-third its normal size, in anticipation of the move, Gallagher said.
"For the first time we'll have a children's literature collection," she said. "We can use it in terms of preparing reading specialists and elementary teachers."
The new facility will allow faculty members to expand their collections and resources for students.
"Almost all the material the faculty has now is in their offices," she said.
Gallagher is also about to get three new assistant professors, who join the school just a year after Gallagher added three others.
She's also starting work on the Pearson Initiative, a capital campaign to raise funds for equipment for the new building.
"We're doing it so we can continue to be on the cutting edge of technology," she said. "When we moved into this building (Bailey) we had all the money upfront and that was it. The need is always there. Technology is always changing. We need to continue and change with the times."
Of course, Gallagher wasn't yet on the faculty when the School of Education moved into Bailey Hall in the 1950s, but after four years working in it, she knows she ready for something more up-to-date.
Gallagher and the other faculty will spend the next year juggling teaching, planning and preparing for the big move, which is fewer than 12 months away.
"I'm concentrating a lot on Pearson, just to get that done," she said.
"The great thing about Pearson is that there's enough space to teach the way we've wanted to but have been unable to here (at Bailey)."
NEW ASSISTANT PROFESSORS