Dec 012008
 
Authors: Jessica Cline

After 18 months of construction and about $13 million dollars in student fees, the new Computer Science building with 24/7 computer lab access is finished and set to open sometime in January, officials said.

Brian Chase, director of facilities, said a crew is in the process of installing all of the equipment and that the building should open at the start of the 2009 spring semester, “right on schedule.”

The majority of the money to fund construction came from student fees, about $13 million dollars. In addition, one million dollars for construction and equipment came from donations, including a recent donation of $500,000 from the Griffin Foundation.

The 45,000 square foot building is centrally located across from the Lory Student Center and the Morgan Library and includes three new labs with the latest audio-video features, seminar rooms and offices.

“(The building) was a top priority that the university had because the computer department was very old and the new building is a state-of-the-art building,” Chase said. “We’ve gone from having one of the worst computer facilities to one of the best in the country, in my opinion.”

CSU’s computer science program is ranked among the top 60 in the nation, and this building allows the program a chance to grow and excel even more, officials said.

The three labs on the main floor include an open lab for computing classes, a lab featuring machines programmed with the Linux operating system used by computer science majors and an interactive teaching lab for students.

According to Chase, the building was built to energy conservation standards and is more convenient in its central campus location.

Chase said the building has been designed as an aid for students learning computer science principles and their practice and is the engine for future research in computer science and information technology.

Because the new keyless entry system for late-night-entry into the building recognizes only 2008 student ID cards, the University Technology Fee Advisory Board submitted a proposal to replace all old ID cards.

And while this proposal is not definite yet according to Neal Lujan, an employee in the RamCard office in the LSC, if passed, all CSU students will have to trade in their old ID cards for new ones with embedded smart chips for access into the building after hours.

Neal and other members of UTFAB believe that keyless access must be open to all students and not restricted to only those with 2008 university student ID cards.

UTFAB, which approves the use of the $10 per credit hour university facility fee and provides guidance and advice in the implementation and application of technology at Colorado State University, plans to fund the card replacements.

Staff writer Jessica Cline can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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