Illinois ECE Building Revamps Learning Spaces for In-Person Classes


Ryann Monahan, Illinois ECE

Sweeping changes are underway at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in an effort to take an abundance of cautionary measures to prepare for fall 2020 in-person classes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The cautionary measures are fluid and can and will be swiftly changed as needed.


The Illinois ECE building is home for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and its faculty, staff, and students. It is a place where students can come together and learn about fascinating technologies, whether they're inside a large busy lecture hall or a small intimate classroom environment.


With the presence of COVID-19 cases in Illinois, The Grainger College of Engineering is devoted to protecting the health of the students, faculty, and staff, while also ensuring that students are receiving the resources that they need to learn and succeed. In order to accomplish this, the Illinois ECE building will be enforcing strict social distancing rules in classrooms and lecture halls, to make for a safe learning environment.


Illinois ECE’s lecture hall Grainger Auditorium (ECEB 1002), will have a limited capacity of 50 students. Students will adhere to a specific seating arrangement, organized so students will remain 6 feet apart. Smaller classrooms and laboratories will receive similar treatment, with limited capacity relative to their size, and will also have social distancing measures in place.

Socially distanced study spaces are also set up throughout the building.


Additional plans are being considered to account for the limited amount of classroom space. One possibility would be to distribute class attendance across multiple meeting dates, meaning that one half of the class could attend lecture on Tuesday, and the second half of the class could attend on Thursday. Livestreams of the classes, along with other online resources can be provided to students who are unable or choose not to attend lecture in person.


In the midst of these uncertain times, the college of engineering is devoted to carrying out the safest learning experience possible. The University of Illinois understands that students value the in-person resources that the Illinois ECE building provides and is carefully planning to ensure that students can receive the resources they need to learn.


Illinois ECE is prepared to work together to make for a safe and productive semester.