By SAVANNAH LINDVAY, Staff Reporter ¦
The Amarillo College Ware Basement is changing.
The basement is getting a remodel. It is being turned into a large open computer lab. Construction is expected to be all wrapped up in the fall of 2019. High-tech furniture and computers will be available to all students in the remodeled basement.
The idea for the lab was born after student needs were observed.
“When you visit other schools, students have a space in the student commons or library building to be able to meet, study and access technology. The Ware basement lab, at over 9000 square feet, will be that space for AC students,” Dr. Tamara Clunis, vice president of academic affairs, said.
The hours for the lab are not set in stone yet; however, Clunis said the hours will be designed to meet students’ needs.
“We know that students need access to technology, Wi-Fi and printing at nontraditional hours. Our goal is to open up this space for extended evening hours during weekdays and Sundays. The building exterior is being redesigned to allow access to the Ware lab during the evening hours and on weekends while still securing the rest of the building,” Clunis said.
Clunis added that one of the goals of the new lab is to help achieve better use of both classroom and computer space. “AC was underutilizing classroom space with computer labs setup in buildings across campus. It was determined that these spaces could be used to offer courses that students needed rather than housing computers that were not being used on a regular basis,” Clunis said.
The lab will contain furniture with power outlets for the convenience of the students when they are studying or working on projects.
“The design was inspired by focus groups of students as well as faculty that rated design elements of other college’s technology labs. Our architects incorporated their favorite elements into their design,” Steve Smith, vice president of business affairs, said.
Trevor Bates, a CIS programming major, said he thinks the lab will benefit the student body immensely and take a lot of stress away from students who don’t have internet access.
“I would use it. I have Wi-Fi at my house, but I mean who knows. That’s not always a constant thing. Life happens so sometimes you have to go somewhere else. To have a space for us to go to, even late at night, is a good move for the school,” Bates said.