The College of Business Administration unveiled its renovated Open Access Lab this semester with the area’s design and new gadgets stemming almost entirely from student input.
Rows of computers, 15 large cubicles for group projects and $25,000 Bloomberg Terminals are the newest additions available for all students in the renovated lab. Ten terminals are in the lab and two are available for faculty at mobile stations. By purchasing three licenses for the terminals, CBA was able to get nine for free.
According to Head of Instructional Technology Nupur Shah, the project cost around $800,000 with funds coming from the Student Excellence Fee, a campus mandatory fee that comes out of students’ tuition.
“The renovation was done to foster the growth of a synergetic environment and provide a better overall learning experience,” Shah said in a press release.
Shah said one of the biggest challenges was finding out students’ needs on campus in order to succeed academically. Because of this, CBA conducted interviews with its students, including members of student organizations and Associated Students Inc. senators representing their college.
A contribution from the LBSU design department helped cut costs on this project.
Shah said they made it a class assignment to renovate the lab from scratch. Six different design teams assisted with the process, and integrated global design firm CannonDesign, which was hired to carry out its plans.
“People love it,” Shah said. “People definitely love more space…they really enjoy a more trendier work space that you’d see in coffee shops.”
Business student Luis Lopez said that his favorite additions are having more group stations and a better overall look in the renovated lab.
“Compared to the way it used to look, it’s just a way better environment to be in,” Lopez said. “It has a nicer vibe, brighter colors and just feels refreshing once you come in.”
According to Shah, the Bloomberg terminals in the lab include a certification program that walks students through financial sectors that they are required to get certified in.
“We advertise this space during [Student Orientation, Advising and Registration] and during workshops,” Shah said. “We bring [students] in here to show them the space and resources, which also includes printing so we walk them through what kind of technology and resources they have available.”
The CBA Open Access Lab is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. It is located in room 237 of the CBA building.