Innovation and Construction

By: Jerome Wassel –

Seton LaSalle’s new second floor Innovation Lab, and renovated Computer Lab, are still under construction as the school resumes classes, with questions remaining about its construction, cost, content, and intent.

The computer lab, housed in room 201, is receiving a complete overhaul according to school president Tom Datillo. Specifically, the room will receive fresh paint and walling, new furniture, flooring, and air conditioning. Additionally, the computers will be replaced with more modern models. “Students should not have better computers in their bedrooms at home than we have here at school,” said Mr. Datillo, explaining the rationale behind the upgrade.

Also receiving a facelift is room 203, Mr. Joseph Kramer’s former room. The small classroom is promised to be renovated into a broadcast, recording, and photography center, from which the morning announcement program made by The STREAM Team’s Rebel News division will be broadcast onto the various smartboards and televisions about the school. Mr. Datillo also boasted about the ability for SLS to broadcast to televisions placed in feeder elementary schools, to give students there a look at student life here on campus.

In regards to the Innovation Lab itself, it will be replacing the smaller, unused computer lab housed in room 205, and much like room 201, is receiving a complete facelift–as students are capable of seeing as they pass it in the halls. Fresh paint, walls, floors, lights, and furnishings will be installed, and the ‘front’ of the room relative to the hallway will be stonefaced with glass windows, to allow passersby to observe the technology housed within–including upgraded computers, 3-D printers, GPS-guided telescopes, and both virtual and augmented reality systems. As for why, Mr. Kramer was very concise. “It was time.”

When asked about the source of the funds for these upgrades, Mr. Datillo named an anonymous donor as the generous individual. As for hard figures, Mr. Datillo stated that each of the three rooms were easily in six figures, with the Innovation Lab costing about $100,000.

Regarding the decision to put off construction until after the until the start of the school year, Mr. Datillo was very succinct. “Poor planning.”

Mr. Michael Joyce, SLS’ dean of students, elaborated further. “Permits delays and waiting on material deliveries stalled construction, but we’re very appreciative of the flexibility shown by students and teachers. The end result will be worth the disruptions.”

As for the projected end of the construction? “Sixty days,” Mr. Datillo stated. He elaborated further, stating that the Innovation Lab was only phase two of three of the school’s STREAM program, the first having been upgraded faculty technology systems, alongside the chemistry lab, and the third stage being the installation of numerous other labs in the Brother’s House.

Mr. Datillo estimated that the project would be completely finished within a year. “That won’t be the end, though,” he added at the end of his statement. “This is going to be an evolving project based on student input and needs.”

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