The computer lab on the second floor of Coates University Center has closed and will be converted into a temporary office for Career Services. The lab was shut down due to limited student activity.
“Space in Coates is at a premium, both for meeting spaces that students and staff members can reserve and for offices. We have been looking for a while at the computer lab to see how often it was being used by students,” said Kate Polivka, assistant director of campus and community involvement.
In the spring semester, front desk workers were asked to survey the computer lab to determine how many students were using it on a daily basis.
“Last semester, in the first two weeks of March, the staff at the Coates University Center, the folks who worked at the desk went up every half hour for two weeks and checked to see how many people were using the machines. It ranged from zero to eight at the highest point. We felt like that would be a good indicator-to count it at a time when we thought people would be using it the most,” Polivka said.
This was done during midterms to see if student usage of the computer lab spiked when students needed such resources the most.
“Most of the time it was between zero and three people using the lab. In conjunction with Dean Tuttle and some other folks, we determined that we might have a better use for that space,” Polivka said.
The space will be temporarily used for Career Services to expand its office, but plans for the space in the future are still being discussed.
“After Career Services vacates that space, it will give us an additional meeting room up there,” said David Tuttle, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.
Coates University Center and Center for Learning and Technology are looking into whether or not a single computer and lab printer in the front office will assist students. When the decision is made, the campus will be notified via LeeRoy.
“I know the concern among some CCI staff and students was about the printer going away. The printer tentatively is spotted to be put in the first floor behind the info desk,” Tuttle said.
Although the computer lab in Coates is shutting down, students still have many other options to choose from.
“I think there are enough computer centers available on campus to begin with, but the location of Coates is more of a matter of convenience. It’s near where students can get food quite readily available. It is also centrally located,” said Caulun Peake, sophomore.
Plans to shut down the computer lab were underway during the summer. According to Polivka, administrators thought that the space could be converted into something that would be used more often.
“It is going to have to change – the way students function or where they go to use a computer or where they go to print. This idea of putting a printing station in the Coates office is really to try to alleviate that,” Polivka said.