Lehigh’s Library and Technology Services hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 27 to celebrate and reveal the renovated study spaces in the Fairchild-Martindale Library Computing Center.
Greg Reihman, vice provost of LTS, said the Computing Center had primarily been used in the past as a computer lab. However, since most students now use laptops over stationary desktop computers, LTS saw the space — which is referred to as “The Pit” — as an opportunity for change.
“The space needed a refresh,” Reihman said. “Overall, it didn’t present the type of space we were hoping to provide for students.”
After collaborating with a group from the Student Senate, Reihman said LTS decided to focus on creating a collaborative and flexible space with new seating, built-in mobile chargers, Windows computers and more portable whiteboards.
“It’s a pretty flexible floor plan,” Reihman said. “In the middle of it there’s an existing layout, but then if students need to move things around to try to make it more amenable to their preferred mode of study, that’s an option. It really is a combination of different furniture types with some flexibility built into it.”
Reihman said LTS plans to continue to heavily prioritize student opinion in future renovations and anticipates seeing a prioritization of social and creative studying.
Along with the new design, the Computing Center also offers 24/7 availability, allowing students to continue to work after libraries and other buildings on campus close for the night.
“We wanted to create a space that was comfortable even when libraries were closed,” Jesse Pearson, director of LTS, said.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was an opportunity for students to get to know the space, as well as meet and give feedback to the LTS staff.
Many students in attendance said they had never visited the Computing Center before.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been here actually, but I saw the signs and thought I’d check it out,” said Kyle Nisbet, ‘25. “I’ll probably stop by sometime in the future.”