Recently renovated research and writing center opens in library

September 22, 2008 — by Vijay Menon

Walking into the school library this year, students will find a new and improved resource to take advantage of—the newly renovated Research and Writing Center. According to Principal Jeff Anderson, the renovation was funded half by the school and half by the Saratoga High Foundation, a parent group that helps support the school.
According to district application support analyst Julianne Yeaman, the old computers were “outdated” and crashed often. There are now 62 new Dell PC’s running on Windows XP in the center.

Although the center has been around for approximately seven years, it has been scarcely used in the past few years due to the old computers, according to librarian Kevin Heyman. He expects that to change following the renovation.

“I expect there to be a dramatic increase in the use of this facility,” said Heyman.

While the old systems were frequently noted to crash or freeze, Heyman said the renovated center will be able to meet the rising demand for online research by students.

“One of the reasons that the old computers were so ineffective was because they ran on thin client, which was an older technology that was pretty cumbersome to use,” said Heyman. “Now every student work station has its own brand new PC.”

Heyman said he expects teachers to bring in their classes and use the center more frequently than in past years.

“I’ve talked to some of the teachers about it and I know many of them such as English teachers Jason Friend and Cathy Head are going to be bringing their classes in here,” said Heyman. “I expect as the school year goes on that other teachers such as History teacher Matt Torrens will also be bringing their students down here.”

Besides online research, the center will also have other uses, according to Heyman.

“These computers are a lot more powerful than the ones we used before,” said Heyman. “There may even be a possibility of using them for limited graphics design or other art-related projects.”

The school hopes that the renovation will make the center a valuable utility for students to be able to use.

“Teachers in the past said that it was very difficult to use these computers,” said Heyman. “Hopefully, with the renovation, I believe it will solve all those problems, everything will work, and it will be fast enough to meet the needs of the students.”

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