Information Technology Services greets spring with fresh-faced facilities
With the start of the spring season, the Centre College campus unfurls a fresh set of foliage, and this semester, Information Technology Services (ITS) is unveiling a budding new space in McReynolds Hall, thanks to much-needed renovations this past winter (pictured in three different stages, below).
“The renovation was part of an overall College technology review and recommendations document,” explains Director of Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer Keith Fowlkes, who joined Centre in May 2013. “First and foremost was the glaring need for a new data center for our campus network switches and server systems.”
Fowlkes explains that the network had been housed in an area below ground level that was not environmentally sound, experiencing outside water leaks after heavy rains.
“This was a serious operational reliability and audit issue,” he says.
Secondly, Fowlkes wanted to make the ITS office a central location for technology support for all members of the campus community.
“While we do most of our support work for staff and faculty in their workspaces, students were left out and consistently crowded into our reception area to get help,” he explains. “Student needs should be one of our primary focuses in ITS, and the renovation will allow us to better welcome students with technology problems and give them a single physical place for support.”
The renovation is the first in a three-phase project; the first section of the building now has a ground-level datacenter that is environmentally sound and power conditioned for core server systems and network equipment. The majority of the building functions as a College technology support center that can accommodate visitors who need help with computers, mobile devices, software, network connections and login problems.
For Fowlkes, the renovations are the beginning of an exciting new stage for technology at Centre College.
“We are excited about ITS becoming more a part of what Centre is known to do best—educate and serve student needs,” he says. “This new facility gives the College a new public face for technology and support, showing Centre’s continuing commitment to its students.”
The new technology support center is projected to open on March 31, 2014.
By Mariel Smith