Durham Center’s hours cut

Jodi Hinrichs

Reduced lab hours will force students using Durham Center computer labs to go home earlier this year.

Budget cuts have reduced the hours of the Durham Center labs, said Dennis Engholm, systems support specialist for Academic Information Technologies.

“It’s unfortunate [since] Durham was the only one open 24/7,” Engholm said. “We didn’t want to do this.”

The lab now will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until midnight. On Fridays, the labs will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. until midnight.

The computer classrooms and labs don’t have an annual budget, Engholm said. They did not receive the funds they requested this year.

Cutting back the lab hours will save between $20,000 and $30,000, said Dorothy Ohl Lewis, director of Academic Information Technologies.

Although some older equipment and software will not get replaced or updated this year, the old units in the Maple-Willow-Larch lab were updated and are now twice as fast as they were before, she said.

“It is important to keep the computer classrooms as current as we can so not to be a hindrance to the learning environment,” Engholm said.

Students using computer labs Thursday said the change in hours may force them to rearrange their schedules.

“I’m taking an online class, so it will affect me,” said Sarah Johnson, junior in exercise science. “It will be harder to get access to take online quizzes. I will be tutoring soon, and will have to be [in the labs] later at night, and if the hours are cut, it will be harder.”

Megan Spahn, junior in child and family services, said the change in hours might be inconvenient.

“I have night class, so that’s when it’s a good time to be open,” she said. “I’m already on campus and like to do it all at the same time. It’s easier once you’re here.”

The labs in the residence halls will hold the same public hours, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. Hall residents will still be able to access the computers through the night.