Friday August 5, 2005


Starting this fall, University of Dayton students can go wireless just about anywhere they live, eat, study - or do laundry.

Starting this fall, University of Dayton students can go wireless just about anywhere they live, eat, study - or do laundry.

As part of a $586,000 project, the University of Dayton upgraded all houses in the neighborhoods surrounding campus by adding network equipment and 350 wireless access points. The new wireless network provides connection speeds of up to 54 megabits per second, compared to the typical home cable modem connection of about 2 megabits per second. In all, UD now has more than 700 wireless access points throughout campus, including 240 in academic buildings and green spaces and more than 450 in residential areas.

"We're creating an environment in which students are able to continue learning beyond the classroom," said Tom Skill, UD's associate provost and chief information officer. "We're using technology to enhance student learning and create a fully connected, collaborative community."

As part of the upgrade, UD improved Internet bandwidth to campus, increased wired network connections tenfold -- from 10 to 100 megabits per second -- and completed its connection to the Third Frontier Network, a statewide private network connecting all of Ohio's universities and major industries. The network is designed to create economic development opportunities between higher education and private industry.

Long ranked as one of the nation's most wired campuses, the University of Dayton also has been recognized for being one of the nation's top wireless universities. Intel Corp.'s "Most Unwired College Campuses" survey ranked UD 28th in the nation.

During the summer, UD officials embarked on a number of other major construction projects:

* A modern, $25.3 million fitness and recreation center called RecPlex is expected to open in January on Founders Field. It's part of a multi-year plan to revitalize student facilities on the highly residential campus.

* The $3 million first-phase renovation of Kettering Laboratories, which houses the School of Engineering and the University of Dayton Research Institute, includes an expanded entryway to serve as the base for a five-story tower of classroom space and a lounge. Outside, new walkways and lawn seating are being created. The third floor of the 35-year-old building is being renovated to include new spaces for the departments of mechanical engineering, engineering management systems and electrical engineering. An innovation center, the centerpiece of the project, is expected to be constructed next summer in a later phase.

* In Miriam Hall, home to the School of Business Administration, a $2.5 million renovation of the second floor includes new classrooms, a learning lounge and enlargement of the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. It also features a one-stop shop for undergraduate academic and career advising and a space for career exploration activities designed to complement introductory coursework.

* More than $4 million in renovations and new construction in the south student neighborhood. "This includes $1 million in new plumbing and upgraded kitchens in Campus South apartments and $500,000 in exterior improvements to University-owned houses. More than 70 houses received such improvements as new siding, roofs, paint and porch work," said Beth Keyes, executive director of facilities management. In addition, UD will finish the construction in December of seven new houses, which includes two sorority houses. An existing building is being renovated for another sorority.

* A $300,000 ArtStreet amphitheater is nearing completion.

In September, construction is expected to begin on a 102-room Courtyard by the Marriott Hotel across from the University of Dayton Arena Sports Complex. Concord Hospitality, a Raleigh, N.C., hotel development and management company, will develop, build and manage the property, and the University of Dayton will be part owner. UD also will take measures to prevent flooding of the Arena, which delayed a Flyers game this winter.

With the $25 million purchase of 49 acres of land and buildings from NCR Corp. in June, UD will hire a consultant and develop a new campus master plan, according to Rick Perales, University campus planning director.

"The campus master plan will provide the strategic road map for the development of the University," Perales said. "Like the 2002 plan, it will be a collaborative effort involving students, faculty, administrators, community officials, neighbors and alumni."

In addition, UD plans to partner with a developer and create a plan for commercial and mixed-use development on the riverfront land purchased from NCR. "We want to make sure this property not only meets UD's needs but also the needs of the region," said Daniel J. Curran, president.

Contact Tom Skill at (937) 229-3511. For more information about campus construction and planning, contact Beth Keyes at (937) 229-3769 or Rick Perales at (937) 229-4339. For information about housing facility improvements and renovations, contact Craig Schmitt, executive director of residential services, at (937) 229-3317.