FIRST LOOK: Collin College opens new IT Center at Frisco campus

outside of IT Center
Collin College's new IT Center opened to students this semester. Construction began on the building in December 2019. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

Collin College's new IT Center opened to students this semester. Construction began on the building in December 2019. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Students in Collin College's video production courses may use this room to edit. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Students in Collin College's Cloud Computing program use double monitors for assignments. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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This lab is where students learn penetration testing in Collin College's cybersecurity courses. The frosted glass windows provide extra privacy. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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In this mixed use lab, students will break down and rebuild computers. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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This is where Collin College's video production students view footage from the green screen room and make adjustments via various control panels. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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This gray wall doubles as a seat back and tack board for college announcements. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Collin College student Koltin Koehler works in one of the IT Center's labs equipped with Cisco technology. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Courses for Collin College's Animation & Game Art program are held on the first floor of the IT Center. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Collin College's video production students have access to a soundproof booth and control panels that connect to a green screen room. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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While most labs are a hybrid of Macs and PCs, Apple-only labs are where students learn software development and Mac operating systems. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Glass in the IT Center is equipped with two-hour fire protection. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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This communal area on the IT Center's second level features seating for students to study or socialize. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The career coaching lab in Collin College's IT Center has desktop Macs for students. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Labs and classrooms in Collin College's IT Center feature large windows to increase natural lighting. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The IT Center has two classrooms designed by computer software faculty that emphasize collaborative learning. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Collin College's IT Center features labs with desktops and open tables for students who prefer laptops. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The IT Center's computer labs are equipped with whiteboards on each wall to encourage multiplatform learning. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Gregory Newman, associate dean of Collin College's Frisco campus, explains the "fish bowl," what he calls the career coaching lab for its glass wall that looks into the IT Center's lobby. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The three-story building features collaborative spaces in which students can work, rest or socialize. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Keyboard covers allow cleaning staff to sanitize each device without damaging the hardware. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The IT Center has several work pods for students to study privately. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Faculty and staff that teach at iCollin—the college's online campus—have a work space at the IT Center. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Students may wait for staff at these open tables in Collin College's career coaching lab located in the IT Center. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
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.”
By Brooklynn Cooper
Brooklynn Cooper covers public education in Frisco and McKinney. Previously, she reported on southern Dallas for The Dallas Morning News. The Durham, N.C. native and devoted Tar Heel fan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019.


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