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Vision for Space

The Park District Executive Director, Mrs. Irma Golliday, hopes to reignite community love of outdoor spaces and help rebuild a sense of close community through technology.  Our group will help Mrs. Golliday realize her vision by doubling the board room in the Park District administration building as a movable computer lab for elderly residents in the area.  Our goal is to create a flexible, sustainable space for users to comfortably use the Internet, create documents, and perform other tasks.  Our group (Ashley, Julia, Kyle, and Noelle) travelled to East St. Louis with our 451 class on the weekend of September 10 to visit our respective sites. Before the trip, professor Martin Wolske told us that Irma Golliday, wanted two computer labs: one in the boardroom of the Park’s main office building and another in the community center; we also anticipate including a small reference library.

After our initial meeting with Mrs. Golliday, our group discovered that she hopes to serve the elderly through the computer lab in the main office and youth through the computer lab in the community center. These computer labs will be designed to help Golliday and the Park District reignite the local community’s love of outdoor spaces and create partnerships to strengthen the community, both of which will help to counteract negative elements, such as violence and drug use.

There were several logistical things that came out of our meeting. First, our group would need to prepare the boardroom and the community center for a computer lab.  After surveying both rooms and inquiring about Golliday’s vision for each space, our group decided to put a computer lab in the boardroom this semester and do some “interior design” work in both the administration building and the community center (Irma talked about creating some kind of door for the computer lab area to separate it from the rest of the community center and the possibility of painting the room to make it more attractive).

Second, our group discussed other technology resources that the elderly may need for the boardroom lab: a printer and a scanner; Irma may be able to acquire those items from the school district. Other items that our group thought might be useful (but not immediately necessary) included headphones, hearing impaired programs, screen readers, and possibly a projector and screen for meetings.

Lastly, our group discussed supplementary items we could supply for the computer lab, such as a pathfinder of web resources related to topics that interest the elderly, such as gardening, health, cooking, and travel; computer lessons for computer task that elderly may struggle with such as setting up email or doing a web search through a search engine; and a working website for the Park District where community members can find information about the computer lab as well as other information.

Hopefully our group will be able to get a lot of work done with the Park District to begin helping them find ways to serve their community through technology.

Our following trip to the administration building was well spent assessing the existing wireless network: considering where the building’s router is located and how the network is physically situated in relation to where the future computer desks will be located in the board room.  We also spent time painting furniture and digitizing historic photographs of Jones Park.  Establishing a working computer lab also requires creating a comfortable, aesthetically appealing space for Jones Park employees and residents to enjoy and feel a sense of historical context in East St. Louis.

Painting the boardroom bookshelf and coat rack

Digitizing photos of Jones Park from the 1950s