Campus Center prepares for renumbering project

With the current number system for classrooms in the Campus Center still leaving students and visitors wandering through the facility with confused looks on their faces, officials are investigating the possibility of coming up with a new method of numbering classrooms.

Campus Center staff witness the confusion first hand. Students often come to the Information Center looking for directions to a room, Building Manager Adam Somich said.

The classrooms are currently organized in three wings. The Campus Arena has classrooms beginning with a C, the main stretch of the Campus Center consists of numbers only, and any classroom in Poucher Hall begins with a P.

"The existing system has a few duplicate numbers, has alpha prefixes in some areas and not others, and the Poucher Wing has separate identifiers," said Rebecca Kempney, assistant director of building services.

The number system that is being drawn up should lessen that confusion. "It’s much more intuitive," Richard Hughes, director of Campus Life said.

Kempney insists there is more to the decision than just making things simple. "The main reason is to portray the Complex as one community," she said.

The number plates attached to the entryway of each classroom in the Campus Center can easily be removed and switched around. But there also remain other obstacles to cross.

"A new sequential numbering system had to be identified for the complex," Kempney said. "Now the numbers have to be purchased and installed, labeling of mechanicals and Technology Services Ports, and communicating the change throughout the complex."

"It affects everything from the maintenance system to the room reservation system, impacts the Registrar’s office and Campus Technology Services [all the Ethernet and phone jacks are numbered], and the fire alarm system," Hughes said.

Both college staff and contractors will be used to complete the project.

"Contractors will be manufacturing and hanging the signs, and the campus will be placing temporary signs, updating computer ports, the phone system, electrical and mechanical identifiers, and the fire alarm systems," Kempney said.

Still uncertain is how much the project will cost. Expenses are still being tallied up. Along with purchasing new signs and allowing for the price of installation, many other costs factor into the total price. CTS will need to update the entire system of computer ports, as well as the phone system. The fire alarm system will need to be relabeled and updated, and even personal items like business cards will have to be replaced.

The idea came about in fall of 2008, Hughes said. It is still a work in progress and the numbers have not been hung yet.

Because changing the numbers for every classroom cannot happen overnight, a proposal has been put forth to begin the project immediately following the Commencement ceremony in May 2010. During that time, temporary signs will be put up next to each classroom, stating both the old and new classroom numbers. Classrooms can be booked weeks or even months in advance, meaning that if an organization reserves room 118 for July 10, the classroom will have a new number but still be identifiable by its old number for a while. Hughes said that the project hopefully will make the transition easier for students, staff and visitors alike.

"It is not a small project, there is a lot of time involved in all these tasks, it’s quite an undertaking for many parties, yet it has a huge return for the users," said Kempney in an e-mail.

"The users will be able to navigate from end to end with ease and not find themselves turned around when they embark on an area that has a number that is not in sequence with the area they just traveled."

These changes will be a welcome relief for staff members like Somich.

"It’d make my job a lot easier," he said.