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Davee computer labs transform into new centers

September 21, 2006

UW-River Falls underwent a few changes while students were enjoying their summer vacation, and some can be seen in the basement of Davee Library.

The Orange Lab has been converted to a new teaching lab, and the layout was changed for student authorized use of this space. Students can continue using this lab for academic purposes outside of teaching hours, which are posted outside the entrance to the lab. 

Lab Manager Daniel Miller oversees all of the Windows labs and technology classrooms on campus. He said the Orange Lab is the first lab on campus equipped with dual-projection screens, which were added to accommodate the obstruction of view that is caused by two pillars in the lab.

Miller said the Orange Lab was chosen for conversion because of its size. It has a seating capacity of 46, and it was a Windows lab prior to the conversion.

The Green Lab also has a capacity of 46, which is the maximum capacity in compliance with fire safety regulations. Both PC and Mac computers are now available for use in this lab. The Red Lab computers were moved into the Green Lab and all new iMac computers have been installed in the Red lab.

Mathematics instructor Maren Gebhard teaches a class in the Orange Lab and said the change was interesting, and once some of the layout issues are resolved it should be great.

After teaching in the Gray lab, which forced her to use either the overhead or the white board, she said she appreciates the dual-projection system that allows her to use the whiteboard and overhead simultaneously.

“Overall it works pretty well,” Gebhard said.

The Yellow Lab on campus no longer exists; it is being decommissioned to become The Banks Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry.
Joanne Belfiori Banks graduated from UW-RF in 1962 with an English degree, and the center is a memorial to her life work. Her generous donation made the center possible.

Dean of Students Terry Brown said Banks’ work is extensive and goes on to include being co-founder of The Journal of Literature and Medicine, as well as co-editor of the six volumes of letters of Virginia Woolf, who is considered by many as one of the greatest English writers of all time.
The donation was Banks’ way of giving back to the University, where teachers in the 1960s helped open her mind and inspired her to achieve the many great accomplishments that she made in her lifetime, Brown said.

The center will bring different disciplines into dialogue to create new understandings.

“A discipline is an allegiance to a particular way of looking at the world,” Brown said. “The library is a neutral place — it doesn’t belong to any one discipline.  The nature of the library is to serve all ways of thinking and perspectives.”

The center will be used as a classroom, meeting room and director’s office. The meeting room will be available to faculty and students engaged in research, teaching and learning. Brown said she has high hopes for the new center.

“It is a gift to the University, but this college is the custodian of the gift,” she said. “I hope that everyone will feel the benefits of this gift.”