U of M's Tate Hall gets makeover

Tate Hall at the University of Minnesota has a new look.

MINNEAPOLIS - There's a new look to Tate Hall at the University of Minnesota.

The university is home to the School of Earth Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy. The recently completed renovation includes 30 research labs, 20 teaching labs and 10 general purpose classrooms.

The building is approximately 230,000 square feet and serves more than 5,000 students each semester.

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The heads of each school say this building was in need of a major upgrade.

"This building was very much designed with our educational programs in mind. A combination of traditional formats, lecture halls, and classrooms with high technology features and it has a lot of smaller space that allow us to do participating hands-on learning in cooperative groups and develop collaborative skills which are so important in the new economy," said Ron Poling, School of Physics and Astronomy.

"We used to be scattered all over campus in different buildings. One of the major revolutions for us here is we are all together and so we can have some collaborations with people and instruments that were difficult before," said Donna Whitney, School of Earth Sciences.

The projects cost more than $300 million combined and are funded by both public and private money.

The public can take a tour of the new building on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.