When MTSU students return to campus this fall, they’ll find the Jones College of Business University Computer Lab upgraded considerably, complete with revised operating hours to better serve the campus.
Located in the Business and Aerospace Building, the university’s main computer lab is closed this summer for a renovation project that began last month. Work is expected to be completed by the start of fall semester classes Aug. 25.
The expanded 6,361-square-foot lab will bring an increased focus on student convenience and customer service, an open work-centered environment, comfortable notebook-friendly lounge furniture, additional team study rooms, wireless printing, mobile/laptop charging stations and 40 new computers.
The $288,000 renovation also includes a new student ID access system and computers networked to MTSU’s new print management system, which allows remote printing from mobile devices.
“We’re going to make it more student friendly,” said Carlos Coronel, director of the lab. “The furniture will be more comfortable for the students. We are replacing all of the seating in the entire lab and also putting in new flooring.”
A temporary lab has been set up in BAS S302 with 26 computers for student use. The temporary lab is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday this summer, unlike the previous lab’s 24/7 schedule.
When the lab reopens in the fall, weekend operating hours will be changed to close the lab at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Coronel said the change in weekend hours better reflects student use of the lab.
The renovations will reconfigure some of the rows of computers currently in place into two new group study rooms that will allow students to collaborate more, as well as bring in their own laptops, tablets and/or other mobile devices to use. The new computer stations also will allow more workspace.
Shannon Scott, a senior public relations major from Murfreesboro, works in the lab as an assistant, answering software questions, restocking printers and helping students with a variety of computer questions.
“I think it’s going to improve accessibility and the overall look of the lab, and really, just everyone’s overall attitude,” she said of the renovations. “Your environment is everything. MTSU has definitely been upgrading with the new science building, the new parking garages coming on line and things of that nature.
“I’ve mentioned the renovations to a few of the students, and you can just see the excitement on their faces. People like ‘new.’”
During the renovations, the main lab offices are temporarily located in the BAS SunTrust Room, Room N217, on the first floor of the north lobby.