When students in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department return to campus this fall, they will enjoy twice as much learning space as they previously had—thanks to a move into the new $36.5 million Technology Building.
CIS’s faculty and students will have access to state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, offices, and student lounges spread over 14,000 square feet on the building’s second floor. The Engineering Technology and Fashion and Textile Technology departments will inhabit the first and the third floor respectively.
Designed by S/L/A/M Collaborative, and built by LPCiminelli and general contractor Manning Squires Hennig Co. Inc., construction began in 2011 and was completed this month. The building includes a vegetated lower-roof area and a photovoltaic solar collector on the upper roof; it is expected to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
CIS faculty began moving in at the end of June. CIS chair and associate professor Bill Lin calls the new space a big improvement. Instead of switching between five buildings for classes, students now will have most classes in their major housed in one building, he said.
Along with more space, the Technology Building will offer more flexibility for students; they can take two courses at the same time in different labs. Previously, some courses shared a lab and couldn’t be offered in the same semester. The new building also includes more “downtime” space for students—carrels for studying and lounges for socializing with fellow students and faculty.
“I believe the new building will provide more of a sense of community,” Lin said, adding that pooling all the technology disciplines into one building should promote more cohesion among them.
CIS offers an undergraduate program for students interested in pursuing careers such as computer programming, software design, website design, and network administration among many others. Additionally, a graduate program in educational technology is available that is primarily geared toward K-12 teachers. The department also offers many service courses to the entire college community, enrolling hundreds of students each year.