Temple Times Online Edition
    MARCH 31, 2005
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TECH Center coming to Bell Building

The space will house high-tech areas for group work, as well as a new Welcome Center

Rendering by Devrouax & Purnell Architects
The lobby of the new TECH Center will feature a welcome center where prospective students, parents, alumni and members of the business community can visit and learn about Temple.
Whether the assignment is a class project, a presentation or a research opportunity, Temple students are spending more time working together in groups and engaging in collaborative, interactive learning, supported by the tools of rapidly advancing technology.

A $16 million comprehensive student technology center opening in early 2006 will meet the challenges of a changing student learning environment. The new Technology, Education, Collaboration, and Help (TECH) Center — believed to be the largest of its kind in the nation — will emphasize collaborative learning, engagement and group work, assisted by the tools of advanced technology. It will feature 600 fixed computer workstations and 100 wireless loaner laptops that can be used throughout the building.

The TECH Center, which will be located in the Bell Building at 12th Street and Montgomery Avenue, will include a CyberCafe, 13 breakout rooms for group study and a 24-hour computer help desk. It will also be home to Temple’s new Welcome Center, a dedicated space featuring a “showcase” entrance where prospective students, parents, alumni and members of the business community can visit and learn about Temple.

For faculty, the building will house an Instructional Support Center and the Teaching and Learning Center.

The TECH Center will meet the ever-growing demand for on-campus computer access, offering 24-hour access to all academic software programs, with trained consultants providing technical support.

“More and more students are working and learning in groups and collaborating with each other on projects that require technical tools,” said Timothy C. O’Rourke, vice president for computer and information services. “This facility will provide the space and the specialized technology to meet those needs.”

Rendering by Devrouax & Purnell Architects
The TECH Center cyber lounge will include computer stations and wireless Internet access for laptops.
The facility will centralize computer resources on Main Campus, allowing for multidisciplinary access to state-of-the-art hardware and software. Specialized equipment and programs for computers in disciplines such as engineering, art, architecture and communications, often costly and currently available only in departmental labs during limited hours, will now be available to all students.

Students will also be able to gather in “smart” rooms at the TECH Center and have full access to a broad array of technology tools and multimedia equipment, including video editing, graphic design and music production.

“Despite the high percentage of Temple students who own computers — 87 percent — nearly two-thirds of the students we surveyed said they use on-campus computer labs three to five times a week,” O’Rourke said, noting that visits to computer labs have grown more than 47 percent in less than two years, with more than 550,000 uses recorded last year.

“There’s currently no central place on campus where students can work together in this manner,” O’Rourke continued. “The center will provide students with the resources they need to work on team projects around the clock.

- By Harriet Goodheart