GCC remodeling means new furniture, no lab computers

Unusual new chairs are just a part of the Global Communications Center remodeling campaign that is rolling into rooms across the building.

The process of remodeling some of the computer labs aims to accommodate the needs of the students and faculty, according to Computer Facilities Supervisor Cory Rabe.

“We recognize the teaching and learning process has changed since the GCC was built in 1996,” Rabe said. “In order for us to meet those needs, we need to keep investing in our facilities.”

Associate Chair of the Department of Communication Sara Netzley said she thinks the changes will have a positive effect on students.

“I’m excited that we’re remodeling the labs,” Netzley said. “We’ve been talking about what the newsroom of the future might look like, and we’re trying to create that as much as possible with the new furniture and equipment.”

The department plans to have some of the new installations in place this summer and additional upgrades in classrooms and common areas in the near future. Currently, it is testing chairs with an integrated work surface and desks that will allow the room to be reconfigured quickly and easily, Rabe said.

“Over the past two summers we renovated three of our labs in the GCC,” Rabe said. “The plan is to upgrade two more of our computer labs (GCC 207 and 211) this summer, and we are currently [testing out] some furniture to help us get a feel for what we would like to install permanently.”

Netzley said the classrooms will be more versatile for students.

“We know how important flexibility is in classrooms and newsrooms, so I’m glad to see desks and chairs that are either on wheels or are easy to move into small groups, circles or rows,” said Netzley.

The department of communications is also looking into converting some of the rooms because of the changing needs of the students. It is in its second year of enforcing a laptop requirement, and Rabe said he thinks the requirement will continue into the future.

Netzley said it will allow the department to make some bigger changes.

“[The laptop requirement] means we can remove the computers from the labs,” Netzley said. “This frees up space for us to add new desks and chairs and even rearrange the way the rooms are set up.”

Some students said technology in the classroom will improve learning.

“I think any computer capabilities that Bradley has is a plus,” said freshman international business major Sharon Mozes. “Technology is key to development, so it is good to see Bradley incorporating technology into academics.”

But Mozes also said she thinks remodeling could potentially be a waste of money.

“Remodeling the computer labs is nice, but at the same time there are other things Bradley could be spending the money on,” said Mozes.

Freshman computer engineering major Evan Parish said he thinks updating the computer labs will have a positive effect on student learning.

“More and more students are bringing their laptops to class,” Parish said. “It will be nice for students to be able to work in a laptop friendly environment, especially since laptops are becoming much more popular than the typical computer.”

Rabe said students may have the option of adding student laptops to the offered printing services through the Service Bureau.