New 24-hour lab anticapted in summer
By Susan Walley
Senior Staff Writer
|Photo by Tashieka Hammond
Students use computers in the Oak Hall computer lab. In August, some 117 computers were removed as labs closed.
A 24-hour computer lab that was scheduled to open in the UC by December will not be on campus until this summer, said Director of Client Services for UCIS Maureen Windmeyer.
“We initially thought [the lab] would reopen in the fall,” Windmeyer said. But construction in the University Center for the new lab has yet to begin.
Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Bess Tyner said the University is working through comments from the Department of Insurance and hopes to have approval for the project by mid-February.
Tyner said that the DOI approval consists of an initial review, and then the proposal is returned with comments to the University for resubmission.
The initial review, Tyner said, can be in queue for four to six months.
“By law, we cannot proceed with bidding and construction on any project, no matter what the size, until we receive that letter of approval from department of insurance (DOI),” said Tyner.
The process, Tyner explained, will involve the project going out to bid to construction companies following DOI approval and then construction is scheduled to take three months.
This schedule puts completion of the lab occurring during the summer, which means students who would typically utilize the lab during exam week currently will not have that option.
One idea is for an existing lab to be converted to a 24 hour lab during exams.
The new 24 hour lab will be located where the old mail room currently sits in the University Center.
According to Project Manager Cary Jacobs, the project will consist of moving walls to expand the area.
The lab will hold a total of 25 computers, Windmeyer said. These will be the 20 machines from the previous 24-hour lab, as well as five of the
seven machines currently in the commuter lounge.
Windmeyer explained that with all the recent lab openings and closings, they will be able to avoid purchasing new equipment when the lab is completed.