Christmas has come a little early for employees at CUSD’s new Technology Service Center, who spent the Thanksgiving break moving into their new digs.
The new $3 million building at 1670 David E. Cook Way was funded with Measure A dollars. It will house 20 full-time employees and provide space to train and support staff and students with their technology needs.
About 3,000 square feet of the 11,500 square-foot space is designated as warehouse space, with the rest being used for work space, storage and staging.
“We needed a home for our team and the work they do,” said chief technology officer Dan Resciniti. “We not only repair district computers and printers and devices, we also purchase and receive inventory and configure and then distribute computers, printers, all technology. As we add new devices — tablets, Chromebooks — they will all pass through here.”
Work flow and ease-of-use were in mind when the space was designed, said Resciniti. He said the team worked with John Smith of S.I.M. Architects to create an efficient space that would meet their needs. The repair center, built to accommodate two repair technicians (the district currently has just one), has counters built at different levels: taller counters facilitate laptop repairs, while the lower counters accommodate printer repair work. Staff was even consulted about what type of lighting would best work in the space.
A conference room, large enough for staff meetings, will also be available for district use. The staging room, in which new technology will be inventoried, configured and deployed, connects to the warehouse, located just a short distance away from the district warehouse. The proximity of the two warehouses, said Resciniti, makes for efficient transfers from one to the other.
A large “team room” provides office space for the Technology Center’s employees, who previously worked out of a much smaller space. A “pop out” section of this room, set apart from the majority of the cubicles, may eventually be designated as a call center, Resciniti said.
The parts of the Technology Service Center most visible to the public — the lobby and training center — are also its most eye-catching. The 40-seat training lab, which will be used for professional development, is visible through a window in the lobby. “It was very much needed,” said Reciniti. “Our other facility was kind of small and used a lot. We need the extra training space and as technology grows, we need the [space for] professional development for the staff so they know how to use the technology in the classroom or for business.”
Counters with outlets and stools are provided so district employees and students can set their equipment up for troubleshooting sessions with Technology Service Center employees. (Although not all students are eligible to receive tech support at the Service Center, said Resciniti, students who have purchased their laptops through the district’s partner, laptopschools.com, are eligible for warranty repair work through the district.)
If it sounds a little like the Apple Store, that’s the idea: Resciniti said the technology giant’s retail stores were in mind when the space was designed. Eventually, he said, they may use the lobby to showcase different laptop models students can purchase through laptopschools.com.
The new facility was designed with expansion and the district’s ongoing technology needs in mind: a second floor may eventually provide space for additional employees or departments, Resciniti said, adding, “We built it with growth in mind. I don’t see technology going away, so it was very prudent and smart to build a facility that will see us through the foreseeable future. The district has the vision to know technology is going to be an important part of education and is willing to make that investment.”