The new $4.06 million Owens Community College Library is the first building at Owens to be constructed with the use of private contributions which total more than $1.6 million. Donors to the building fund are commemorated on the inside entrance wall to the library.
The new Library is four times the size of the old facility and provides students and the community with an automated card catalog and checkout system, group study rooms, an audio-visual viewing room and computer lab. The Library is connected with OhioLINK, allowing students to request books and articles from any of Ohio's colleges and universities.
In November 1995, construction began on the 33,560-square-foot Audio/Visual Classroom Center, which is located adjacent to the new Library.
"Both the Audio/Visual Classroom Center and the Library are significant additions to our growing campus. With an enrollment increase of nearly 25 percent in the last two years, it is critical that we continue to enhance our facilities as we strive to meet the needs of our students and the communities we serve," President Brown said.
"Like other aspects of business and industry, education is changing on an almost daily basis. And it is our responsibility to address that change head-on," President Brown added. "The Audio/Visual Classroom Center is a tremendous resource that incorporates the latest technology available in educational delivery systems."
"The Audio/Visual Classroom Center showcases our vision of higher education instruction of the future," said Dr. Paul V. Unger, Vice President of Academic Affairs. "Owens Community College has always been on the cutting edge of teaching technology. This is an instructional vision come true."
The new $3.7 million facility features an auditorium-size room, capable of seating 1,000 people, that also can be split into two, four or eight separate classrooms with mobile walls.
The focus of each room is a 61 -inch television set on a cart linked to a personal computer providing access to the College's computer system, the Internet, several software programs, international satellite broadcasts, distance learning, laser disc, CD-ROM and video tapes.
"Instruction will be enhanced for students through access to a host of resources world-wide," Dr. Unger said. "A faculty member will be able to create a presentation in the classroom like never before."
When the room is used as an auditorium, the speaker's image can be broadcast onto a large projection TV screen hanging behind the stage as well as onto eight 61 -inch TVs placed around the room for optimum viewing throughout the audience. The large auditorium also will be used by the College for events such as theatrical and musical performances, speakers and conferences.
The Audio/Visual Classroom Center features two computerized instructional classrooms each with 24 personal computers linked to a 61 -inch TV/computer unit with the same access to resources as in the large classroom. These computer classrooms each can be expanded to fit 36 computer stations for students.
Also found in the new building are two distance learning classrooms. The College's SkillLINK program will be moved from the Engineering Technologies building. SkillLINK is a two-way, full-color, full motion interactive video system that simulates a live classroom experience by relaying instruction from the campus to another site over a fiber-optic telecommunications system.
One of the greatest assets of the new classroom is its simplicity, Dr. Unger said. "This is a multi-media classroom that is very easy to use," he said. "We didn't want faculty to focus all their attention on how to use the equipment. We want them to focus on using media and resources to enhance instruction for students. This is all very easy to incorporate in classes."
Plans for a campus building with a high-tech teaching environment have been in the works for about three years. Dr. Unger said Owens Community College would like to expand this technology to several rooms in each of the main classroom buildings on campus.