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 Tuesday, May 9, 2006 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

 In the interest of fostering discussion on current campus topics, Id like to share the following message from Bobby Schnabel, Vice Provost for Academic and Campus Technology and ATLAS director.

ATLAS Building On Schedule To Open In August
By Bobby Schnabel, Vice Provost for Academic and Campus Technology and ATLAS director

Most everyone on campus knows that a building called ATLAS is going up in the heart of campus, but few know much more about it. Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about this building.

What does "ATLAS" stand for?

The Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society. ATLAS in an institute at CU-Boulder dedicated to integrating information technology with all people, disciplines and communities, particularly those less commonly associated with information technology. This includes the arts, humanities and social sciences, and women and under-represented minorities.

What is the purpose of the ATLAS Building?

The building will be a technology-enhanced teaching and learning center for the entire campus, in a broad sense. Its major facilities include: a 150 seat auditorium for campus and community use; a 75 seat film screening room; a 2,700 square foot, two story high "black box" performance studio for the performing and creative arts; a 1,000 square foot production studio; two 25 student classrooms, two 40 student classrooms; the campus programs for enhancing teaching quality, the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program and the Graduate Teacher Program; offices and teaching spaces for the ATLAS Institute including the 250-student Technology, Arts and Media undergraduate certificate program, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology; and the Film Studies Program.

Who is likely to use the building?

Hopefully, the majority of people on the campus. The classrooms and studios alone accommodate 6,000 student course enrollments per semester, which means about 20% of the student body will take a course in the building each semester. To give a sense of the range, units teaching in the building this fall include biology, business, communication, economics, engineering, English, environmental design, film, journalism, physics, writing and more. The building's main entrance opens into an exhibition lobby with a video wall that will display campus content at all times. Off the lobby is a coffee shop that will be operated by Vics, voted "Best of Boulder" this year. There are many spaces available for student (and faculty) use on a drop-in basis ranging from nine office-sized "group design rooms" to five video-editing booths. Many other facilities, such as the board room and videoconference room, are available to the entire campus by advanced reservation, and most of the facilities also are available for extra-curricular events outside of teaching hours.

What special facilities are in the building?

A few highlights include: the classrooms contain reconfigurable furniture and several LCD panels each for group work; advanced audio and video production equipment supports the performance and production studios and the entire building; the auditorium, one 40 seat classroom, the videoconference room and the board room are equipped for distance collaboration; graphics, printing and video-editing facilities are available for the entire campus' use.

What's going on with the tower over the building entrance?

The tower was envisioned jointly by the project and campus architects to be a signature element for the building and the central campus. The inverted pyramid is a reflection surface that will allow the tower to be "lit" in colors and patterns.

When can I go into the building?

Any time after it opens in mid-August, but also be sure to remember Friday October 13 (the Friday of Family Weekend) which will be the day-long building "launch" featuring performances, productions, talks, exhibits and tours throughout the building.

For more information, visit the ATLAS Web site at

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