IMU introduces 16-computer ITC in River Room Cafe


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A new Instructional Technology Center in the IMU's River Room will give students a new place to snack and study.

Because of the high traffic level in the building's third floor ITC, the IMU and Information Technology Services have created a new study space for students.

Patricia Kruse, the associate director of the IMU who spearheaded the project, said the reason for the location was based on the popularity of the ITC on the third floor.

"We found out that the [third floor] lab is the most used on campus, and each computer is used an average of nine hours a day," she said. "It only has 22 stations, and it's packed all day, even at 8 a.m."

The 16 new computers and printer were provided for the IMU by ITS, and paid for with the Student Technology Fund. Chris Clark, the learning spaces technologies manager for ITS, said money for the fund comes directly from student tuition.

"There is a technology fee included with every student's tuition," he said. "That fee goes to a variety of different applications for student technology."

Clark also said standard computers in university ITC labs cost roughly $700 and are replaced every four to five years. The printers cost around $1,200 and are replaced every three to four years.

Bill Nelson, the director for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, said the new lab is part of an ongoing process to repurpose the IMU after the 2008 flood. Before the flood, there were 67 computers on the ground floor of the IMU in area called Quiet Study ITC, he said.

The new lab will be located where the dish-return station was, Kruse said. Officials prepared the location by building a wall to separate the area.

The IMU was responsible for building the wall, securing Internet access in the new location, chairs for the tables, and new signs for the lab.

Kruse and Nelson said that they did not have an estimate for how much the project cost the IMU on Tuesday.

"All the construction was done internally using our own people," Nelson said.

Upkeep for the River Room ITC will be maintained by the Hub, the campus information office and box office in the IMU.

Cindy Thrapp, the manager of the Hub, said her staff is now responsible for all the labs in the IMU.

"We will monitor [the printers] filling the paper and the ink," she said. "If there is a problem with the computers, there will be an ITS number on the computers for students to call, but they can also come to us."

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