La Paz lab opening delayed

By Nancy Motherway
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 22, 1996

Robert Henry Becker
Arizona Daily Wildcat

The computer lab in Colonia de La Paz Residence Hall waits for the computers to fill the empty space.


After living through construction during the fall, residents in Colonia De La Paz Residence Hall now suffer delays in the opening of the long-awaited computer lab and the arrival of an electronic piano for the music room.

"Everything should be in no later than spring break," said Residence Life Director James Van Arsdel.

But the Center for Computing and Information Technology plans to have the La Paz site operational following spring break, said Barbara Hoffman, computing manager for CCIT.

Julie McCrea, Rincon Area coordinator for Residence Life, said CCIT did not have the funding for the computer equipment until they requested it last semester.

Hoffman said CCIT submitted a grant to the provost's instructional computing grant program and was awarded $80,000 to install a computer lab in La Paz. CCIT will be installing 24 Power Macintosh units with PC-DOS compatibility cards, she said.

It will be the first computer lab that offers all university students the opportunity to work with a Macintosh or PC/Windows environment at any station.

"I am not positive which Macintosh unit will be chosen, as we are investigating a variety of DOS cards and the results of that investigation along with our budget will dictate the final choice," she said. "However, at this point in time we are leaning toward installing Power Mac 7200s," Hoffman said.

In exchange for their assistance in funding, the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering will use the lab for sections of ABE 120, microcomputing applications, she said.

"ABE classes offered in La Paz should not seriously impact the overall availability of the lab," Hoffman said.

Total start-up costs, excluding those for maintaining and operating the site, are expected to be $100,000, she said.

"The lab is very attractive and its central location should be a real plus for students," she added.

Despite CCIT's assertions, students seem confused about when the lab while be finished.

"At the wing meetings at the beginning of last semester we were told we'd get the computer lab in January," said Vineet Shrivastava, microbiology sophomore.

Kalyan Dandala, microbiology freshman, said he had heard nothing about when the computer lab would open.

La Paz's music room still lacks a piano, although Residence Life sources said it has been ordered and should arrive anytime. Residence Life decided to forgo an initial plan of a grand piano for the hall so the music room could double as a dance area, Van Arsdel said.

McCrea said she suggested an electronic keyboard because "it has a full-length keyboard and all the sounds of the piano and more. Plus, the technology is appropriate with the newness of the building."

Although a keyboard was received last semester through a bidding process, it was returned because it did not meet "specifications," said McCrea the original order was for a walnut piano, but a black piano missing a bench was delivered.