Collin College’s new IT Center opened this semester, which got underway in late August at the school’s Preston Ridge Campus in Frisco.

The three-story building is the first facility built by JE Dunn Construction exclusively dedicated to information technology.

“There’s nothing like this,” said Mark McElroy, vice president of JE Dunn Construction. “You’ve got snippets of it in other places, but this is cool.”

Located just south of the parking garage, the center created a new courtyard for the campus, framed by the conference center, library and classroom building.

One of the benefits of the new center is the space in each room, ideal for the hands-on learning required for technology classes, said Gregory Newman, associate dean of the Frisco campus.

Previously located at the campus’ Heritage Hall building, the IT Center features five labs equipped with Cisco networking hardware, a nursing room for mothers and several multipurpose labs.

Newman said the Cisco labs are designed like data centers that students will see in the workforce.

“Even the individual cooling is in here, so students get a really good dose of what they’re going to be faced with,” Newman said.

He added that the timing of the new center is in line with the growth of the metroplex.

“Dallas-Fort Worth is a technology hub,” Newman said. “All the big companies are moving and bringing the technology, so we have to keep up.”