College is a time of searching and exploring, and never is this more true than when looking for classrooms.
Unfortunately for students of all ages, navigating the new Wedgewood Academic Building is a search that never seems to end.
Finding one’s way through the WAC’s maze-like halls has fostered a sense of unease for students attempting to reach their classes on time. An intricate stairwell system and elevators that only reach certain floors are at the heart of the problem.
Students have expressed concern over the building’s difficulty and are eager to understand the WAC’s layout to acclimate themselves to a new year’s schedule.
“I tried to find one of my classes and located the number right before it. The number I was looking for was on a completely different hallway,” said freshman Ashley Francis.
Those students who are unable to figure out the stairs will not likely find consolation in the elevators, either.
“The elevators are horribly slow,” sophomore Janai Todd said.
Students aren’t the only ones to have struggled making their way around the new structure. Even faculty members are affected by the elevators’ technical difficulties and confusing hallway design.
“I had trouble finding my office. It was very tricky,” said Dr. Raluca Clendenen of the mathematics department.
The Office of Communications addressed these concerns in a campus-wide email sent last week.
“Classroom and office areas on the fourth and fifth floor are not accessible by the north elevator, near Wedgewood Avenue. Please use the south elevators or south stairs, near Acklen Avenue, to access these floors,” the email read.
“The Inman Center and McWhorter Hall may be accessed from floors two, three and four of the Wedgewood Building via the large corridor that connects the Barkley Grand Atrium with those buildings,” the message read.
Students have offered further suggestions for this issue with the ultimate solution being visual aids to indicate certain floor areas and stair access.
“They just need signs because even upperclassmen were confused,” said freshman Sarah Padgett.
At this time, it is unclear if further steps will be taken to combat the confusion, but Vice President of Finance and Operations Steve Lasley has recognized the issue.
“Typically, the first weeks of school are hectic times with new students finding their way around campus. Opening a new building likely added to the way-finding challenges all students face at the beginning of a new semester,” said Lasley. “I’m confident that once students get accustomed to their schedules and become familiar with the layout of the building, they will thoroughly enjoy the fabulous Wedgewood Academic Center.”
This article was written by Madi Shutz.