About half of the computers that were in the IT Center last semester have been hauled away.
That’s one byproduct of the revamping of the center’s old space, which is slated to become the iZone, an entrepreneurship workplace, next fall. The center has been temporarily moved to Gleason Library while construction begins.
According to iZone director Julia Maddox, the University cut the number of computers based on research that showed a large percentage of daily computer use is people signing in for a few seconds to print. So, Maddox said, the school launched an app that allows people to print from their own devices and trimmed the number of computers.
“IT can always add more computers if the need is there,” she said. “Their plans to reduce the number of computers are part of their overall work to provide more student-friendly solutions for the most common uses of the public computers.”
While students weren’t opposed to the change in the number of computers, they still had concerns about their ability to get work done on IT computers.
“There are enough computers, but they don’t all have the working software I need, so sometimes, it’s less pleasant,” one graduate student said. “And also sometimes when I try to download files, some computers take much longer, and I lose a lot of time. So there are enough computers, but not enough working ones.”
The IT Center was moved to Gleason library this semester due to construction plans for the previous IT Center. The plan is to reconstruct the IT Center as the iZone, which will open in Fall 2018.
The iZone will double as the IT Center and will be a place for students to receive help on their projects and ideas.
Some students reflected that the new change didn’t affect them at all, while others responded that they preferred it.
“I like it because I prefer to stay in Gleason Library instead of the IT Center downstairs,” sophomore Xiao Tang said.
“I think it’s a little bit better, because now it’s easier to do more work downstairs,” junior Raul Ramirez said. “There’s more access to the spaces and tables.”
The temporary location change of the IT Center was due to a construction for iZone, a project UR had planned since 2013.
“The change was made because we knew that we’d be starting construction on the IT Center […] in January,” Maddox said. “The IT leadership and the library leadership really want to minimize the impact to students. They felt it was better just to start with a clean space at the beginning of the year.”