There’s a brand new space for tech-geeks coming in the spring of 2017, and it’ll be right at the heart of campus
The “makerspace” will be a room outfitted with all high-end technology, located in the Art and Design building, room 200. It will include 3D printers and scanners, circuit board printers, gaming computers, information and networking science, virtual and augmented reality machines, as well as laser cutters, among other things.
Lee Webster, manager of labs, classrooms and collaborative spaces said the space came after both students and faculty voiced concerns about a lack of a hands-on technologically-advanced space within the university.
“We wanted to gather a lot of student voice in making [the makerspace], about policy, structure, technology selection, and operating hours,” he said.
The space was created by gathering student and staff suggestions through focus groups, committees and surveys, and Webster said, came as an effort to unite students from different fields of study.
Yamini Patel, a student member of the Undergraduate Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences said the project will give students a chance to bounce ideas off each other.
“As a psychology major, this space offers an opportunity to study my passions in a unique way,” she said. “Ideas combined with the technology that his space will provide, will give us a way to approach our fields of study in a new innovating light.”
Webster said the tech-hub will be located right by Kell Hall-soon-to-be green space in the center of campus, so that it can easily be accessible by all students.
“It’s open to everyone, not just computer science majors. Anyone from English to Humanities to Business will find value in a space like this,” he said.
The makerspace will be funded by student fees through a tech fee grant of $332,000. The money will cover construction, furniture, architectural fees and all the technology installed within the room.
Webster said there has been a lot of relocating of other computer spaces in order to make the makerspace possible
“That’s why we moved the Digital Aquarium to Aderhold, and the proctor testing lab to the Student Center,” he said.
While there’s no set start date on construction, Webster said they’re in the end phase of vision exercises with architects and will have begun by early December, and is planned to open around mid-spring.