Oct. 21, 1997
The $23 million Budig Hall on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus represents one of the most technologically advanced classroom facilities in the nation. At 131,000 square feet, Budig Hall is the largest classroom facility at KU. The hall features three lecture halls, or auditoria, equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia technology and a 125-station computer laboratory. Budig Hall also will eventually be home for the university's new Center for Teaching Excellence.
Budig Hall is a major renovation of the building that originally opened as University Auditorium in 1927 and 11 years later was named Hoch Auditorium, after Edward W. Hoch, Kansas governor from 1905 to 1909. Fire sparked by lightning destroyed Hoch Auditorium on June 15, 1991.
In 1992, the Kansas Legislature approved $18 million for the reconstruction. In 1994, the Legislature provided an additional $3.8 million.
In 1994, the Kansas Board of Regents authorized renaming the renovated building Budig Hall in recognition of Gene A. Budig, KU's 14th chancellor, and his efforts to see Hoch rebuilt.
Budig Hall retains Hoch's original limestone facade and stair towers and collegiate Gothic architectural style, as well as the name Hoch. The name appears beneath the name Budig Hall on the facade as Hoch Auditoria, the collective term for the building's three lecture halls. Also retained from the original building are the front doors and the lights in the north archways, as well as the lights, some woodwork and the cast-iron grates in the north lobby.
Budig Hall contains one 1,000-seat and two 500-seat lecture halls, or auditoria. Each is equipped with three 10-by-14-foot video screens, upon which images from a variety of sources, such as the Internet, video or film, satellite link, laserdisc and 35 mm slide, can be projected. Three cameras can project close-ups of the classroom professor, experiments and other demonstrations or can be used to track the instructor's movements in the lecture hall. All the cameras can be remotely controlled by the instructor.
From the instructor's control podium at the front of the classroom, the instructor will have a choice of a Macintosh or IBM computer with CD-ROM or a personal laptop computer. Three monitors allow the instructor to see the same images that are projected on the large screens. A hand-held "air mouse" will allow the instructor to move away from the podium and still control the presentation.
The multimedia control room has $1 million in equipment and software. The system is capable of using 35 mm slides to video, top-art digital presenter for use with transparencies and three-dimensional objects, audio and video laserdisc, videotape, audio cassette tape, Internet access and satellite-cable-interactive television (or two-way) downlink. Any media used in the presentations can be controlled by the instructor or by staff in the control room.
A covered floor trench in each hall provides water, electricity, compressed air and drainage for science experiments. Portable lab tables connect to the floor trenches.
The new major building entryways are on the east and west sides, but the traditional entry on Jayhawk Boulevard has been preserved. In the renovation, an east entry was added, and the west entry was expanded to provide easy access to the auditoria.
A $700,000 computer laboratory has 125 stations for students.
Two underground floors will be devoted to library holdings, accessible from nearby Anschutz Science Library. KU is seeking permission from the Legislature to finish the area.
A gift from the KU graduating class of 1997 provided the bronze university seal installed in front of Budig Hall to honor the former chancellor.