2004-07 Computer Lab Renovation

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Information Technology Services
103 Maytum Hall
The State University of
New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
Ph: (716) 673-4670

Three Year Computer Lab Renovation Plan

Adopted by Information Technology Advisory Board May 6, 2004

Funding Realities for Student Lab Renovations

  • SCAP annually provides $106,457 plus the Tech Fee $105,000.
  • The projected annual funding is therefore $211,467.
Changes From the Last Renovation cycle

Renovation in this cycle depends entirely on SCAP and Technology fees. At the beginning of the last cycle we were fortunate to have a one-time $650,000 allocation from the State. This funding along with the regular SCAP and technology fee allowed us to renovate virtually all computer labs at one time. In addition to replacing grossly outdated computers we were able to deal with ergonomic issues such as lighting, seating, tables, and handicap access. In addition these computers have served well as future hand-me-down computers for the B labs. It is important to note that we do not start this cycle with the same benefit and as a result it will likely be more challenging to maintain the B labs in this three year cycle.

It is also important to note that the 2003/04 SCAP allocation was reduced by 20% ($23,000). It is not clear at this time if this was a one-time (i.e., temporary) or permanent reduction in the SCAP allocation. Time will tell. If full SCAP funding is in place, we should be able to continue to meet the basic needs of each lab.

The number of computer labs continues to grow (slowly). At the beginning of the last renovation cycle the campus serviced 18 computer labs. During the last cycle ITAB approved, but did not fund the Igoe lab. While initially approved as an A lab, the coordinators of this lab have asked that the lab be re-designated as a B lab. We are happy to accommodate this request as we have excess capacity for Macintosh computers.

Also pending approval is the EDP computer lab (B) and there is a potential for two more labs to seek funding approval. It is likely that one lab will withdraw request for renovation. At the end of the 2004/5-year, Residence Life will no longer set up computer labs in the dorms. The reason is that most students are bringing their own personal computers, which are much better than the available B lab computers. This should allow us to provide slightly better B lab computers because we don't have to stretch our resources so thinly. Having said that there are some B lab computers that are inadequate and this is a potential problem that we will have to monitor during the next cycle. (Will the current A lab computers be sufficient for the B labs three years from now?)

Some labs were under funded. While the last funding cycle "worked", it was not without compromises. Three issues come to mind. Certain programs use Macintosh computers because they are industry standard for their programs. We need to continue to provide the platform these programs need to educate their majors. The reality is that Macintosh computers are inherently more expensive than a PC counterpart. In our funding mechanism we inform the lab coordinators of the funds available to them and ask that they make the hard choices of how to purchase what is needed to renovate their lab (hardware and software). While this has worked extremely well because people understand how to live within a budget, there are two notable situations where funding has been deemed inadequate.

  1. Rockefeller was able to renovate only one of its two lab spaces.
  2. Sheldon Lab had to make some tough decisions about how to make their program work. They retained monitors, and compromised on software.
We need everyone to work together in creative ways to meet the challenges of the next three-year cycle.

Were there purchases that should not have been made?

A hotly debated issue that is always difficult is a discussion of "needs" versus "wants". Does a program need that item or does it just want that item because it sees some extra money that it has available to spend. In the overwhelming majority of cases the coordinators have expended their allocations wisely; we believe that there is little waste. Having said that there are a couple of issues that are questionable.

one lab purchased a couple servers that may be used more by faculty than by students...

one lab purchased peripherals that are nice to have but perhaps other funding sources should be found for these peripherals

one lab may have purchased software that may be nice but is not used.

The total unnecessary expenditure over the three-year period is estimated to be...

While it is possible to purchase cheaper "A" lab computers, we avoid doing so because we know that three years from now that computer will need to be placed in a "B" lab and is expected to last another three years. Purchasing low end "A" lab computers would most certainly result in unusable machines for the B labs.

As we attempt to transition to a mobile computing environment, lab coordinators are encouraged to consider how their labs will change (possibly no need to provide desktop machines, server-based software, etc.) with students bringing mobile devices to class.

While the cost per machine has decreased in some cases, and we have been able to get campus software licensing agreements that save money… there have been some increased costs related to the need for programs to expand the number of software packages they use. There are significant one-time software costs associated with Apple's migration to a new and more stable operating system (OS X). This means we need to purchase OS X capable software for both the A and B Macintosh labs.

The campus does not have adequate funds to allow the de novo renovation of every computer lab on a three-year cycle, and so we continue on our A/B cycle. A complete listing of the labs and their computers is given below. We continue to support the A/B lab plan, which has served us well in the past 4 years. Listed below are the current computers available in the existing "A" and "B" labs and a proposal for the next three-year funding cycle.

Inventory of computers/printers in existing labs

ITAB currently recognizes the following 19 labs as SCAP-funded labs:

Lab/ Main users/ Current computers (updated November 2004)
  1. Fenton 115/ CS/ 15-3.0 GHz P4; 1 Sun System; 1 Dual Gateway; 2 Servers; 1 Printer
  2. Fenton 2162/ CS,ML,EN/ 25-3.2 GHz P4; 2 Printers
  3. Fenton 2164/ CS,ML,EN/ 30-3.2 GHz P4; 2 Printers
  4. Houghton/ CH,PH GEO,GIS/ 25-3.2 GHz P4; 3 Printers
  5. Jewett 214/ BI/ 4-866 MHz P3 (PC); 4-533 MHz G4 (Mac); 4-467 MHz G4 (Mac); 1-733 MHz G4 (Mac); 1-400 MHz G4 (Mac); 1 Printer
  6. Learning Center/ Public Access/ 8-866 MHz P3; 1 Printer
  7. Library (catalog)/ Public access/ 28-433 MHz P4; 6-333 MHz P3; 5 Printers; 1 Printer
  8. Mason Music 2016,2017/ MU/ 30-1.8 GHz G5 (Mac); 1 Printer
  9. Sheldon/ CM/ 20-2.5(Quad) GHz G5 (Mac); 1 Printer
  10. Media Arts/ MA/ 11-Dual 1.8 GHz G5 (Mac); 10-1.6 GHz G5 (Mac); 1 Printer
  11. McEwen G-22/ Public access/ 15-433 MHz Cel; 33-350 MHz P2; 2 Printers
  12. Residence Life/ Residents Public/ 11-450 MHz P3; 12-433 MHz Cel; 6-333 MHz P2; 13-300 MHz P2; 10 Printers
  13. Rockefeller/ VA/ rm 307 15-Dual 1.4 GHz G4 (Mac); 2 Printers; rm 309 16-Dual 2.3 GHz G5 (Mac); 2 Printers; rm 310 2-Dual 1.4 GHz G4 (Mac); 1-Dual 2.3 GHz G5 (Mac); 3 Printers
  14. Thompson E149/ SP/ 8-1.6 GHz P4; 1 Printer
  15. Thompson W203/ Public access/ 21-600 MHz P3(PC); 2-400 MHz G3 (Mac); 2 Printers
  16. Thompson W211/217/ / 32-2.8 GHz P4; 2 Printers
  17. Thompson W229/ PSY/ 8-350 MHz P2; 2-233 MHz P2; 2 Printers
  18. Igoe Lab/ / 23 G4 (Mac); 2 printers
    Pending Approval
  • EDP/ / 8 P3; 1 GATEWAY 2000; 1 PRINTER

    Could seek approval (On ITS web site but have not sought approval ...yet)
  • ROCKEFELLER CAD LAB/ / 9 800's

B. DESIGNATION OF "A" AND "B" LABS

Computers are used for a variety of processing purposes that can be arranged along an increasing processor continuum from web browsing, word processing, and spreadsheets to computer programming, video production, and graphic manipulation. After considering the type of processing currently performed in each lab, ITAB recommends that the labs be designated as either "A" (processing-intensive) or "B" (standard program function) labs.

"A" labs "B" labs
Fenton 115
Fenton 2162
Fenton 2164
Houghton
Mason 2016/2017
Rockefeller
Sheldon
Media Arts
Thompson E149
Thompson W211/217
Igoe
Jewett 214
Learning Center
Library (including Music library)
McEwen G-22
Thompson W203
Thompson W229
The designation of A and B lab status has undoubtedly saved a significant amount of money - simply because we are using A lab computers in B labs and do not have to purchase new computers for B labs.

THREE YEAR PLAN FOR LAB RENOVATIONS

  • ITAB is committed to a three-year renovation cycle for all computer labs
  • The proposal will see the majority of the funds allocated to "A" (computing intensive) labs with sufficient funding provided to ensure the smooth transfer of computers to "B" labs.
  • All funding is expected to cover intended hardware, software, peripherals, and handicapped accessibility.


Proposed three year cycle

Year 1 (Academic year 2004/05)

"A" labs "B" labs
Mason 2016
Thompson E149
Fenton 2162
Fenton 2164
McEwen G-22
Thompson W229
Library


Year 2 (Academic year 2005/06)

"A" labs "B" labs
Houghton
Rockefeller
Sheldon
Jewett
Thompson W203


Year 3 (Academic year 2006/07)

"A" labs "B" labs
Fenton 115
Thompson 211/217
Media Arts
Learning Center
Library
Igoe


Development of Annual SCAP/ITAB Proposals

The plan is to start a renovation cycle in November of each year. The goal is to renovate the labs during the following summer period when classes are not in session and human resources are more readily available.

Each November, the coordinators of the labs scheduled for renovation will meet with representatives from the ITAB student lab subcommittee to discuss the guidelines for the proposals, the funding available and exchange ideas for the year. During the proposal development phase, the lab coordinators are expected to work together and consult with ITAB subcommittee to develop a single plan that meets funding targets for the year. The computers slated to move from "A" to "B" labs will be identified early in this process and any necessary upgrades will be identified as part of the annual plan.

The ITAB student lab subcommittee will review the plans and submit a renovation plan to ITAB for consideration and further discussion.

Proposed time line

  • November - Start of the proposal development phase. Student lab subcommittee discusses plans with lab coordinators for labs scheduled to be renovated.
  • End of January - at the start of spring semester classes a preliminary planning document is due so that a cost-estimate can be prepared by IT and shared with the coordinators, and ITAB.
  • March 1 - Proposal Due Date. Lab coordinators submit final coordinated proposal for annual renovation. Student lab committee will review the plan and have further discussions with each lab coordinator, if necessary.
  • April 1- Student lab committee makes its recommendations to ITAB.
  • May 1 - ITAB notifies coordinators of decisions. Ordering can begin at any time, thereafter.
  • June through August- renovation of labs.
Information required by SCAP

SCAP (Student Computer Access Program), funded by the state, requires the campus to submit an annual report addressing several issues. Funding is provided only for computers to which students have direct and open access. Please provide narrative statements that speak to the following issues.

  • How will the new hardware/software impact curriculum for new and traditional users of the facility?
  • What equipment will the new purchases replace?
  • Indicate the time your facility is open,
  • What students use the lab (major-specific or open lab)? Is the lab specifically for lower or upper level students? Are the students new computer users, or traditional users?
  • How does use of computers affect the way students complete projects?
Information requested by ITAB

ITAB requests a single proposal that addresses the total renovation of all labs targeted in the annual cycle. Coordinators for these labs are expected to work together, the student lab subcommittee, and Information Technology staff to develop a plan that meets the funding goals for the year.

While SCAP funding provides money only for computer hardware and software, Technology fee money may be used to provide access to other items such as peripherals, handicapped access, and furniture. The submitted plan is expected to address all issues that make a computer lab a functional unit. The ITAB lab subcommittee will identify the labs scheduled for renovation and how the existing "A" lab computers are expected to upgrade "B" lab computers.

Coordinators of "A" labs will indicate the software they currently use, upgrades that are necessary, and justify any request for new software. The hardware specs required to operate the most computing-intensive program used in the lab will be identified. It is assumed that a one-for-one swap will be requested for each computer in the lab. Identify the number and type of computer that currently exists in the lab. What is the processor speed and how much RAM is present in the current computers? Identify the specs of machines you are proposing as replacements and justify these requirements. Is it necessary to purchase new monitors for each computer? Are new peripherals necessary (server, printers, scanners, etc) ? Are there any other issues that need to be addressed in your facility?

Coordinators of "B" labs will identify the software they are currently using in their labs, the need for software upgrades, and new software requirements. After analyzing the specs of "A" lab computers to be transferred, the "B" lab coordinators will recommend and justify potential hardware upgrades to these computers. Coordinators of these labs should also identify and justify any replacement peripherals (printers, scanners, servers, etc), and furniture (handicapped access, tables, chairs) that may be necessary to complete the upgrade. The ITAB subcommittee will evaluate the request and provide an estimate of the cost of upgrading the "B" labs.




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