Seaton Computing Center Renovation to Begin this Summer
By Brian Kleemann
College of DuPage will begin extensive renovations on the Seaton Computing Center this summer that will transform the 20-year-old building into a showcase facility.
Constructed in 1990, the 18,500 square-foot center houses computer-specific classrooms for the Computer Information Services, Computer and Internetworking Technologies, and Office Technology Information programs. Renovation work is scheduled to start in August and conclude in May 2013, and the result will be an educational facility that supports cutting-edge and highly specialized computer applications.
"Though minor appearance upgrades have been applied during the facility's 20-year life, the SCC no longer accommodates today's teaching or learning styles, which require spaces that support collaboration, flexibility and innovation," said John Wandolowski, director of Facilities at College of DuPage. "Upgrades will integrate the building's exterior with its neighboring buildings, while its interior will be transformed into an attractive and inviting space for students."
Joanne Wagner, professor and coordinator of the Computer and Internetworking Technologies program, said faculty members from the CIT, OFTI and CIS programs have worked on plans for the facility under the leadership of John Kronenburger, associate dean of Business and Technology, and in collaboration with IT staff. The team has structured the center into specialized clusters that include high-tech classrooms, a visual and simulation lab, networking hardware labs, a server/internetworking lab, software/web development labs, and end-user labs.
"We have designed an environment for our students using a dynamic collection of resources that can be shared to address the changing needs of our three program areas," Wagner said. "There will also be an open student work area to promote student engagement and collaboration."
The new layout will move the entrance to the SCC from the center of the south wall to the southwest corner of the building. Wandolowski said this simple change will improve the classroom layout and the circulation through the building. In addition, the new roofline and exterior finishes will mimic the new Culinary & Hospitality Center and recent renovations to the Berg Instructional Center and Student Resource Center. These changes help create a unified feel to the campus.
"The transformation of the Seaton Computing Center will be dramatic yet functional, addressing the current and future needs of our students," he said.
The renovation will cost $7 million and is funded by the $168 million referendum that voters of District 502 passed in November 2010. Other projects beginning this year include the renovation of the McAninch Arts Center and Physical Education Center and construction of the Campus Maintenance Center.