'New' Zook Hall is designed for educators of tomorrow


The newly renovated Zook Hall -- home of the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education received its grand unveiling during an open house on Saturday.

After more than two years of construction, the four-story building is completely new within its existing exterior walls. Today’s state of the art facility has reconfigured spaces and the latest technology — all designed to match the classrooms where UA students will one day be teaching.

“The footprint is the same, but the center of the building has been opened to create a flow from classrooms to open spaces with seating in the hallways,” says Dr. Susan Clark, interim dean of the school. “There are spaces throughout the building to sit, relax, collaborate on projects and freely exchange knowledge.”

Here’s a quick preview of the new Zook Hall.

  • Glass — it’s everywhere. Light streams into hallways from the floor-to-ceiling windows that face north and south on each floor. Classrooms and offices are window-filled as well.
  • The three-story glass addition on the north side of Zook Hall, facing Buchtel Common, not only increases the building’s existing footprint by more than 5,000 square feet, it is literally a window into two of the specialized teaching laboratories.
A professor explains a delay during the education school's open house

Dr. Gary Holliday (left), assistant professor of science education, discusses the FIRST LEGO League with two alums during a Zook Hall open house. In the competition, teams of students in grades 4-8 design robots using Lego components that navigate a course while completing tasks.

  • Those teaching laboratories feature white boards, Smartboards, and projectors installed in the ceiling, along with desks and chairs on wheels, so the furniture can be easily moved as students collaborate in small groups on projects and other activities.
  • For future math and science teachers, there are two dedicated labs. The computer lab features software and research management programs useful to math teachers and students majoring in assessment and evaluation. The science lab gives UA students the equipment they need to practice the instructional strategies they will be using in their own classrooms.
  • Students are going to love the technology-enhanced classrooms in Zook Hall — with data ports and electrical outlets at each seat. Each classroom can accommodate up to 100 wireless devices. That’s in addition to the Smartboards and other equipment.
  • The hallways are technology-enhanced as well. Data ports and charging stations are built into the steel support columns near seating areas.
Exterior of Zook Hall looking south from Coleman Common

The renovated Zook Hall is home to the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education.

  • A distance learning classroom features three large screens so that the students on the main campus can see their classmates at other sites across Ohio, and vice versa.
  • Suites of faculty offices are located on each floor, along with a large and small conference rooms in each suite.
  • Both part-time faculty and graduate assistants now have dedicated spaces in which to work.
  • Along with the administrative suite on the fourth floor, the Center for Literacy has its new home.
  • There’s an outdoor terrace accessible from the third floor that is open to everyone on campus.

“The technology enhancements we now have throughout the building are how school districts are setting up their classrooms,” says Clark. “Our school district partners are expecting our graduates to be very facile in the use technology to enhance learning.”

Most importantly, the new Zook Hall has given everyone in the school a home, notes Clark.

“Before, we had people here and in Quaker Square and in Crouse Hall. Now we are all together as a school, with space left to grow.”