WMU News

Renovated computing lab open for business

Sept. 5, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- With the help of three students waiting to use the facility, WMU President Elson S. Floyd snipped the ribbons across the entry and officially reopened the Bernhard Center computing lab Sept. 5, putting nearly 150 work stations and a state-of-the-art lab back in student hands.

Administrators from across the campus attended the early morning ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the project that began in May. The interior of the lab underwent extensive redesign and renovation in a $500,000 construction project that included new flooring, ceiling, light fixtures, work stations and a redesigned service desk.

Equipment for the new environment includes some $140,000 in updated technology. A total of 120 new PCs are already in place and 14 Macintosh computers are still to be installed.

"We wanted to provide our students with state-of-the art technology and that is precisely what we've done with this lab," Floyd said during brief remarks. "The Bernhard Center really does serve as a gateway to the University for students and their parents. It must reflect our commitment to technology and send a strong signal to students visiting this University about that commitment."

Viji Murali, vice president for information technology, welcomed those attending the ceremony and characterized the project as "a great example of teamwork" by her staff and those on the staff of Robert M. Beam, vice president for business and finance.

She singled our student Scott Jesweak, a senior computer science major and a three-year employee of the Bernhard Center lab as playing a critical role in launching the project. Knowing that only funding for the new technology was available through Murali's office, Jesweak sent an e-mail to Floyd asking for assistance with the renovation. After a May tour of the facility, Floyd authorized the project and the summer-long project began.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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