Computer labs consolidated

Second floor of ILRC undergoes large renovation over spring break, third floor closes

When students returned from spring break, they found the second-floor computer lab remodeled while the third-floor, once bustling with commotion, was gutted and locked.

Students had been noticing changes in the second and third-floor computer labs since Christmas but a majority of the big changes happened over spring break, Connie Allison, director of IT communications, explained.

VACANT — The third-floor computer lab has been closed and emptied. Photo credit: James Ebrahim

VACANT — The third-floor computer lab has been closed and emptied. Photo credit: James Ebrahim

“It is difficult to do this kind of change while classes are happening but Liberty did an excellent job of juggling the classroom moves in a non-disruptive manner,” Allison said.

Despite the elimination of the third-floor computer lab, jobs were not lost during the process. According to the Chief Information Officer of Information Services Matthew Zealand, there were approximately four – six local contractors per day assisting on the IT installation and rollout.

“For years, we have offered free computer support to students in the Green Hall IT HelpDesk location,” Zealand said. “Having the location in Green Hall meant that students had to travel across campus from where the majority of their classes were held to get support. The new office will offer all of the same services our Green Hall location offers at a location that is more convenient to students.”

This support provided by the HelpDesk includes software support, virus and malware removal and hardware repairs on certain brand computers by Liberty certified technicians, Zealand explained.

According to Zealand, by combining the second and third-floor computer labs and moving the IT HelpDesk, students are now able to access and communicate all of their computing needs in one single location. These changes have also freed up space on the third floor for purposes that have yet to be announced.

“A walk-in location for the IT Marketplace is also being established in the second-floor lab, allowing students to enjoy educational discounts on a large variety of computers and software titles,” Allison said. “The combination of these services should make the new computer lab very beneficial for the student body.”

There are currently 208 computers in the open lab on the second floor, according to Zealand, which is approximately the same number of computers as before. However, 73 seats will be added once the construction of the quad stations — 4-sided tables used for collaboration purposes with a computer on each side — have been completed. A total of 18 open-lab computers have been gained due to the renovations in DeMoss Hall.

“As a senior, it’s a little unsettling that there are times when I walk around campus and say, ‘Wow, that’s new,’” Keyla Dalee Mori Ramos said. “But it’s definitely worth it in the spirit of change and advancement. I also appreciate how it feels more structured instead of one big hangout room. I can study easier now.”

Junior Katie Rhebergen described how much easier it is to find a computer without having to walk around searching for long periods of time.

“I think it’s great that everything is all on one floor now, it’s definitely more convenient,” Rhebergen said. “There is also a lot more computer availability, which makes it easier for me to find
a seat.”

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