If you haven’t noticed, there’s a BRAND NEW building on campus. Okay, it’s actually a year old, but I’m just now taking the time to review it. Strap in as I give the full B/F/L treatment to the “Campus Instructional Facility!”
The Campus Instructional Facility
Yes, it’s really called that. Perhaps the most laughably generic name besides: “The University Learning Place,” the “Space Where Teachers Teach,” or the “Classroom Rectangle.” Reading up a bit more about the CIF on the web, the name does kinda make sense. The building is meant to provide high-tech classrooms for any class that needs it regardless what college they’re part of. The classrooms are meant to encourage discussion and student engagement, plus the building uses geothermal energy for heat and cooling. Unfortunately, I’m NOT here to talk about those things. I’m a shallow guy and I’m just here to critique the looks!
The CIF has a LOT of windows, wow. (Fun fact the windows are mostly “smart glass” which also helps with heating/cooling costs, but will birds and distracted freshmen still run right into them? Likely.) Some have complained about the CIF’s aggressively modern looks, but I think it’s not too bad. I appreciate the use of bricks to make it blend in with the other University buildings. I also like the variety of materials and textures, though some bits of the building are a bit dystopian if viewed on their own….
“ATTENTION UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: IF YOU ARE WEARY FROM STUDIES, PERHAPS SPEND SOME TIME OUTSIDE ON ONE OF OUR CONVENIENT SITTING CUBES. PROVIDED FREE OF COST AT THE CAMPUS INSTRUCTIONAL FACILITY.”
Oh, what’s behind this grate?
Ah, a damp pipe. Not sticking my arm in there, not even for you dear readers.
Even the bike racks look futuristic. At least they’re more functional than some of the older racks I’ve seen elsewhere.
What’s this block of windows that juts out from the wall?
Well folks, I don’t always do this, but I did venture inside the CIF as well. Turns out these glass outcroppings are at the end of the elevator vestibules. Pretty cool that you can have a panoramic view while you wait for the elevator.
The interior of the CIF strongly matches the exterior: industrial, minimalist, slightly futuristic.
VERDICT: There’s a fine line between simple and sterile, but I personally think that the CIF succeeds in being an inviting space despite all the hard edges, sans-serif text, and very large grayscale portraits of people.
The Unbearable Urge to Play The Nintendo 64 Classic “Diddy Kong Racing” on the CIF Big Screen
Inside the CIF there’s a large space called the “Monumental Steps.” It’s kind of a big amphitheater that’s open for studying or events. The steps are pointing towards a very large screen. It’s so big it’s visible to anyone driving east down Springfield.
Readers, I’m sure you agree that I, and several of my friends, simply MUST be allowed to play Diddy Kong Racing on this screen.
VERDICT: Perhaps you too have an aging videogame that you’d like to play here. That’s fine, but I get to go first.
The All-Gender Restrooms at the CIF
There are multiple restrooms on all five floors of the Campus Instructional Facility. The coolest ones are the all-gender restrooms. Not just because they’re inclusive for everyone (which is great), but because they have a shower!
Like the rest of the CIF, these bathrooms are industrial, but clean. They could use a splash of color though I think. As you’d hope for a bathroom in a new University building, everything is in working order.
There’s “dis-pos-a-bags” for your sanitary napkins.
I asked some friends of mine who have more experience with these things than I, and they all said the one-eyed flower roasting two marshmallows was not a normal thing to have on a sanitary napkin disposal bag.
Anyhow, the real gem here is the full shower! I so rarely get to review showers for this column.
Of course I tested it. Water pressure is solid and runs nice and hot. I did not take a real shower myself (because I hadn’t thought to bring a towel), but I certainly would shower here if the occasion arose.
The folding bench uh, gets caught on the hand railing….Not great, but a firm shove gets it into place.
VERDICT: I’ve heard from the internet that students don’t shower enough. Hopefully these bathrooms help with that.
That’s all for my deep dive into the Campus Instructional Facility. I urge ya’ll to check it out. It’s a cool place.