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With a new semester just around the corner at BYU-Idaho, changes are coming to the Joseph Fielding Smith Building next semester.

According to the BYU-Idaho website, the Joseph Fielding Smith building was built in 1968 and is home to the business, communications and language departments.

Architecture and Construction Management Services Director Rulon Nielsen said that the project was something that was in the works for a long time and that this will be a great benefit for the students and staff at BYU-I.

One of the areas in the Smith building that is experiencing these changes is Smith 240. Nielsen says that this project had been in the planning stages for a little over a year.

Christopher Parker | Scroll Photography

Smith 240 was a single large lecture hall that seated around 200 people.

“With the goal to get the class size down, we saw a huge space that was used by only 40-60 people on a daily basis,” Nielsen said. “With this in mind, we are always looking for ways to provide more classrooms especially properly sized. The upper-level classes are often around 15-20 people on average, and we want to build more classrooms for those courses.”

Nielsen said the construction on Smith 240 will divide the old lecture auditorium into four separate classrooms, two of which will seat 30, one that will seat 48, and the other will seat 60. The rooms will be divided with a sky-fold door, which is a wall that descends out of the ceiling and splits up the actual classrooms, while at the same time allowing more space for Sacrament meetings and other events. Sky-fold doors have also been installed in the John L. Clarke Building and in the Science & Technology Center.

“One aspect of this project that really is a huge help is the flexibility of being able to move rooms around when needed and being able to accommodate all of the majors here.” Nielsen said.

According to Nielsen, construction in the Smith Building is expected to be completed Jan. 8.

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