Data center will get new home

On Thanksgiving night – while most of the GW community will be enjoying family, turkey and fall break – Information Systems and Services employees will be hard at work moving servers currently located in the Academic Center to the support building on F Street.

The movement will cause major University technology outages for a 24-hour period while the servers, which run the CMail e-mail system that professors utilize, among other services, will be moved to the lower level of the Package Services building, said David Steinour, the University’s chief information officer.

The move will trigger a domino effect for previously announced location changes for other University offices, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said. After the servers are moved to the support building, the University will convert the old space into a new home for the University Police Department, as well as more academic classroom space and University offices, Katz said.

“By moving the data center out of the Academic Center, we are freeing up an enormous amount of space in that building, and that is where two things are going to happen,” Katz said. “We are going to move University Police in there, and we’re also going to free up space in the Academic Center to make more academic space.”

The University Police Department is currently located on the corner of G and 21st streets in the Woodhull House, and The Hatchet reported on Sept. 24 that UPD would be moved to a new location.

Katz said the University wants to return the Woodhull House to its historic roots and allow UPD more space and better technology.

“They need better space and better technology,” Katz said. “The Academic Center is wired for technology, and that’s very important for UPD. They can also park vehicles there, so it’s a much better place for them to be.”

The process will take time, however, as Katz said the space where the data center used to be needs to be completely renovated before UPD can move there.

“We know the beginning of the puzzle and we know where we’re going to end up, we don’t know all of the steps in between yet,” Katz said. “As [we] are gathering more facts [we] are seeing how some things are happening faster, some things are happening slower.”

In addition to moving UPD, Katz said space will be freed up in Rice Hall – the building on I Street that houses the University’s top level administrators – and used for a resource center for faculty and staff.

“We’re also going to create in [Rice Hall] a shared resource center for faculty and staff just the way we did in the Marvin Center with Colonial Central,” Katz said, adding that the space will house major resources for faculty and staff, including Human Resources staff, the GW Tax Department and parking.

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