2012 Jun 14
For Immediate Release
Phoenix College Upgrades Computer Commons; Adds 233 New ComputersPhoenix College's New Computer Commons"
(PHOENIX, June 14, 2012) – When students arrive on the Phoenix College campus for the fall semester, they will be pleasantly surprised to find a revamped Computer Commons, with new computers, chairs and carpeting. The Computer Commons is located on the lower level of Fannin Library.
The renovated space received 233 new Lenovo computers – 133 in the open lab and the rest in the classrooms – and a similar number of new chairs as well as new carpeting.
The Computer Commons features an open lab area and three computer classrooms – Encanto, Catalina and Coronado. The computers are used by current PC students while the faculty and staff generally use the classrooms for instruction and training.
Because the Lenovo computers operate the same versions of software and hardware, it will be easier to manage, says Dr. Jose Cisneros, coordinator of the Computer Commons. The new Lenovo computers run Windows 7, replacing Dell computers that operated Windows XP and various versions of software.
In addition to providing the newest version of Windows, the computers have a smaller CPU, which sits behind the monitor, freeing up space below the desks.
"We didn't sacrifice power to save space," said Mark Koan, PC's dean of information technology. "And they use much less energy so it really aligned with the PC Green initiative."
The changeover took place from May 14 through May 30. The new carpet replaced a 15-year-old one and the model chosen for the new chairs is the same model used throughout the library, which was carefully selected two years ago during an upgrade to those floors. The new paint for the Computer Commons will come later, mostly likely during the winter break.
The school's Budget Review Committee recommended the project for funding and the Phoenix College Leadership Council approved it. The computers were purchased in accordance with the Campus Technology Plan, which calls for all campus computers to be upgraded and operating Windows 7.
The Lenovo computers will be put to the test in the fall semester when the Computer Commons is open 75 hours a week during the academic year and students often wait to use the computers. Computer time is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Faculty and staff can reserve classroom time.
"It's definitely a hub for student use," said Koan. "It gets a lot of use so we wanted to make sure they had the latest and greatest."
The Computer Commons is staffed by three full-time workers, which includes Dr. Cisneros, one part-time worker and four student workers. Computer Commons staff members rolled up their sleeves during the makeover and pitched in to help install computers, remove brackets from under the desks and other tasks.
"Every single step was a lot of work and it all took a lot of time," Dr. Cisneros said. "But it turned out to be a positive experience for everyone involved."