Apr 232009
Authors: Ryan Sheine

After being delayed over a week due to inclement weather, CSU will be celebrating the grand opening of the $14 million Computer Science Building today.

The new building is situated across from the Lory Student Center and northeast of the Morgan Library on the Lory Student Center Plaza. Members of the Computer Science Department said the department’s relocation from its former location on Howes St. is a much-welcomed improvement.

“The new building is way better than the old building,” computer science senior Ryan Vail said. “I like the location a lot. I love the labs, and the lecture halls are nice.”

The opening ceremony for the four-story, 46,500 square-foot building will take place at its southwest corner from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

There are three main labs on the ground floor. One lab on the ground floor is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students have had access to the building since the beginning of the spring semester in January.

Computer science chairperson Darrell Whitley said students can access the building using keyless entry with the new 2008 CSU ID cards, all of which are embedded with smart-chips. Students can also access the 24-hour lab with those cards.

The building has increased security by having keyless entry systems installed on the outside of the building and each lab, and the labs have different admittance requirements.

“The Linux lab is open to computer science students other than those only taking (CS110),” Whitley said. “The Microsoft lab has 50 to 60 computers and is also open to all computer science students. However, some of the labs are for graduate students, or computer science majors only.”

“Other labs in the new building are the networking lab and the embedded systems lab,” he continued. “There is more space in the new building for graduate and undergraduate students to work in, and there are collaboration areas where students can work together.”

James Bieman, professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering, said the building’s convenient location is advantageous.

“Students can get to class in two to three minutes and go to the (LSC) more easily. There is better access for students and faculty from all over campus,” Bieman said. “You are five minutes away from anyone.”

Bieman said the new building actually has clean carpets and is no longer located off campus. He said more facilities and spaces are available for both students and professors.

Vail also said the new building couldn’t come along soon enough and said, “it’s about time” the building opened.

“The new labs are very nice. The old labs were not so pleasant,” Bieman said.

The grand opening event is free and open to the public and will feature tours of the new facility. Interim President Tony Frank and members of the Computer Science Department are scheduled to speak.

Staff writer Ryan Sheine can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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