New building to house Informatics

A new sound laboratory, digital laboratory and an espresso bar are just some of the things included in the new $35.5 million College of Informatics building.

The new College of Informatics was formed in 2005 by the reorganization of the College of Professional Studies, the College of Business Informatics and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Construction for the new college is expected to start in Fall 2007. Douglas Perry, dean of the College of Informatics, said the building is still in the early planning stages of construction and is estimated to open within the next two years.

According to Perry, no site has been picked. A few areas on campus have been brought up for the site of the new College of Informatics. One possible location is near the Albright Health Center, another is near the New Science Center and another is near the new US Bank Arena.

Video cameras are set to be put in each classroom in the new College of Informatics and would be broadcasted in the lobby, along with projections from various laboratories.

“When someone walks into the new college they will immediately feel the visual liveliness of the building,” Perry said. “We want to convey the life of the building.”

According to Perry, students will have access to new sound laboratories. Students from all majors will be welcomed.

New unusual classrooms and labs will also be added. Perry compared the new classrooms to “Socrates classrooms.” In those classrooms, stairs will come down to a stadium style stage and the students can sit on the stairs, while the teacher is at the bottom.

“We want to create a ‘water cooler effect’ kind of environment,” Perry said, “where natural points of congregation will happen and make people feel comfortable.”