New technology lounge to be built in Sol Center

Jessica Bullock

The USU Board of Directors is currently working on creating a technology lounge on campus.

Although originally projected to open by the end of 2013, the board has now decided to complete only a proposed design, based on their meeting held last month.

“A completion date is still to be determined and will be based on what students want in this space, the budget and how quickly we can make it happen,” said Shannon Krajewski, USU associate director for marketing and programs.

According to Kevin Lizarraga, USU marketing manager, the Oviatt Library is undergoing renovation as well and will be installing new furniture and technology.

The renovations will be found throughout the first floor of the library including both wings and the core. Renovations will include new technologies for librarians and ergonomic and flexible furniture for students.

The renovations in the library are proposed to start in Fall 2013.

Based on observation from this addition, the USU will assess how students use these items in the library and incorporate whether additional similar items are needed or if something completely different should be created in the technology lounge.

“Once we know the needs, then a budget can be developed,” Lizarraga said referring to the planning of the lounge.

Student feedback is equally important in planning the technology lounge. Determinations of what students want and need are thoroughly incorporated into the board’s decisions in building and furnishing this new space.

“As a young person, the idea of a technology lounge sounds great, however, I believe more funding should be put into areas such as enabling students to take more classes and supporting professors to teach those classes,” said Amanda Sutton, 25, senior, health administration.

“The idea of a lounge with big screen televisions, computers and possibly video games is another way to keep students indoors and inactive,” said Matthew Rodriguez, 23, junior, environmental and occupational health.

Details as to what will be included regarding furniture, equipment and amenities has not been disclosed as yet, but according to Krawjeski, because there is already a television lounge in the Sol Center, the technology lounge might focus more on supporting group and individual studying.

“It is important to the University Student Union and its board of directors that all decisions we make, especially those with fiscal implications, are informed by student input and assessment data,” Krajewski said.

The location for the technology lounge, decided at the USU Board of Directors meeting in June 2012, will be in the former computer lab located on the second floor of the Sol Center building.

Funding for this space will come from existing student fees paid each semester at the USU. An estimated cost cannot be provided until decisions based on features and furnishings are chosen. The project will not increase student fees.