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At Normandale Community College, a $1.5 million data center is in the works

Like many other schools, Normandale Community College, which serves Southwest Minneapolis and beyond, is faced with an increasing demand for technology.
To deal with that, and to give the school a competitive advantage, Normandale is planning a new $1.5 million data center.

This month, the design phase for the center will begin, while the school is still looking for a construction manager, according to Ed Wines, the school’s vice president of finance and operations.

The data center will go into a 20-foot by 28-foot space that's currently a classroom in the College Services Building.

It'll be a "hub housing network servers and blades that provide Internet, telephone, and other digital services for the campus," he says via email.

That's needed because the school's 400-square-foot "server room" has run its course. "It has become entirely inadequate due to the increased use of technology and a growing college enrollment over the past decade,” Wines says.  

A report from the Eden Prairie-based Parallel Technologies, Inc. states that the existing facility is over-taxed when it comes to power and cooling.

The improved data center will provide “more reliable service, an increased connected transmission speed, space for scalable growth, and space for collaboration” with affiliated institutions, he says.

In the long run, it'll also help the school save money, improve server system efficiency, and keep pace with technological advances. It puts Normandale in a position to “expand online resources, improve support for instructors, and provide a marketable resource to attract new students,” the report also states.

“Creating a more robust and reliable data center on campus provides the school with ultimate control of their environment and the ability to provide shared services to other MnSCU campuses” in its network, the report goes on to say.  

The center will open this November.

Source: Ed Wines, vice president of finance and operations, Normandale Community College
Writer: Anna Pratt
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