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New $14 Million Building to Enhance Computer Science, Business Offerings at SUNY Plattsburgh

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Computer Science and School of Business and Economics will have a new home on the corner of Draper Avenue and Cornelia Street, starting in the spring of 2013.

The second building to be constructed on campus in the past three years, this nearly $14.2 million academic building will house faculty offices and a number of specialized rooms, including the following:

  • A 63-seat case, or u-shaped, classroom with video conferencing capabilities.
  • A 40-seat accounting lab and trading room with a stock-market ticker.
  • Two 30-seat computer labs, one for computer science and one for management information systems.
  • A 48-seat and a 20-seat shared classroom.
  • A 48-seat conference room.
  • A 12-seat seminar/conference room.
  • Two student commons, which will be equipped with computers.
  • And multiple four-person study rooms.

Building to Reflect Modern Technology Needs

The new building has been designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver standards, and, as a result, will feature a rooftop garden, landscaped with hardy plants that can survive North Country winters. The faculty and staff lounge will open up onto this space.

“The Department of Computer Science is looking forward to having a place in a modern, environmentally friendly building,” said Computer Science Chair Jan Plaza, who went on to discuss the importance of changing with technology.

“In 1970, our students were using a punch-card-oriented IBM 1440, in the 1980s; teletype terminals with a DEC VAX-11 computer; and, later, a lab with workstations and several servers in the basement of Hawkins Hall.

“For the new building, we planned a reconfigurable lab that can be easily arranged for team projects or rearranged for computer intensive practice during a class where the instructor makes demonstrations.”

Most of the classrooms, too, will feature moveable furniture, allowing rooms to be used in many ways.

Designed to Support Hands-on Experience

Faculty members in the School of Business and Economics are also looking forward to teaching in rooms that have been specifically designed with their subject matter in mind, according to Tara Studley, assistant dean of the School of Business and Economics.

“Our faculty members are excited to have instructional spaces designed for the way they want to teach,” Studley said. “Everything is going to be state of the art.”

Plaza and Dr. Ray Guydosh, dean of the School of Business and Economics concurred.

“The new building will provide the resources, classrooms, laboratories and office space to help us ensure that we are providing an education of the highest quality to our business and computer science students,” said Guydosh.

“The labs in the new building will be ideal for hands-on experience for computer science and information technology majors and also for students involved in new interdisciplinary minors in bio-informatics and Web design and programming, which are up for approval,” Plaza added.

Plaza also noted that the computer study rooms will be a boon to students working on projects. Because the rooms are so near to faculty offices, the rooms will provide for quick access to faculty support when students need it.

The building will be paid for by the five-year plan of the State University of New York Construction Fund. Approximately 200 people will be employed by this project.

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