Technology store coming to campus

John Dougherty / Sun Star

Students may no longer need to leave campus or go online to buy new gadgets. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has plans in effect to open a technology store in the Wood Center by fall of 2016.

“What we are looking to do is create an experience for students from the start of their relationship with a piece of technology, which is buying it, to the end of it,” OIT Customer Support Services Manager Tom Langdon

The purposed architectural plans for the technology store. Photo Courtesy of Martha Hanlon Architects.

The purposed architectural plans for the technology store. Photo Courtesy of Martha Hanlon Architects.

said.

The store would sell computers and tablets as well as other accessories such as headphones, keyboards, smart watches, projectors, and possibly cameras, according to UAF IT Engagement Specialist Debra Kouda.

“It wouldn’t just be a store where you could just go and buy things. It would be a place to go and explore as well,” Kouda said. “So we would have different tables set up, like a music table with a whole bunch of new music technology that’s come out.”

OIT is also considering selling 3D printers and other new and developing technology. Plans for the store include a space where groups can run presentations, take classes, and learn about various computer, and technology topics.

The store will be located on the second level of the Wood Center across from the ballroom.

UAF’s Office of Information and Technology is currently seeking approval to sell products through the Apple Authorized Campus Store program.

“Our application has been delayed several times because their executive team hasn’t been able to get together,” Karl Kowalski, chief information technology officer for UA Systems, said.

If approved for the program, the store would be able to offer Apple products as well as Windows and other brands.

“Our goal is for it to be self-sustaining, so the store covers its own cost to create the experience for students,” Langdon said.

The store will also work with various departments at UAF to bring in new technologies.

“Any of the programs where they are doing really cool stuff, bringing that in and highlighting it there,” Kouda said. “It would definitely be cutting edge for the community here and certainly for students.”

“A new piece of Technology may not be something that the School of Engineering is ready to incorporate into a classroom but let’s get it on campus, see how it can be used, let people play around with it, get experience with it hands on,” Langdon said. “It would serve as the innovation hub for Fairbanks.”

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