After being housed in three separate University buildings since its creation in 1996, the School of Information will now make use of 4,000 square feet of office space in the former Borders building on East Liberty Street.

About 12 to 15 staff members in the marketing and communications office, the finance team, human resources and the information-technology group will officially move into the new second-floor office space Friday.

The search for more space began early in fall of 2012 and the five-year lease of the new building was signed in June out of necessity, Information School Dean Jeffrey MacKie-Mason said in June.

“We moved into North Quad in 2010 when the building opened, and we already filled 95 percent of our allotted capacity on the first day,” MacKie-Mason said.

He added the new space is exciting, as is the location.

The School of Information is in a period of expansion with the upcoming addition of the Bachelor of Science in Information program and the relatively new Master of Health Informatics joint degree with the School of Public Health. This expansion has lead to the necessity for new office space to accommodate more faculty and staff, Heather Newman, Information School director of marketing and communications, said.

The first floor of the building is divided into five commercial spaces, and PRIME Research, a strategic communication research firm, will share the second-floor offices with the School.

Aside from being near campus and the Information School’s main office in North Quad, the increased lunch options and proximity to technological innovation also attracted the Information School to the Borders property, Newman said.

As a plus for students and faculty, the building is also very close to the offices of several major tech companies, including Google, Menlo Innovations, TechArb and Barracuda Networks.

The history of the program was influential in the choice of location because, at its inception, the program was split between North and Central Campus, which Newman said created a lot of difficulties.

“The split between West Hall and School of Information North posed some difficulties for those folk who were housed up there just because the geographic difference made it difficult for people to coordinate, especially at that point in time, on a daily basis,” Newman said.

The new offices will be quieter and more open than the offices in North Quad, which Newman said will allow for increased collaboration.

The Liberty Street Office will be connected to offices in North Quad via a wireless network and teleconferencing, and will provide extra space for employees between offices.

“The bottom line is that our office is pretty geeky already just because of what we do, so Google-chatting and Skyping is stuff we all do on a daily basis as part of our jobs,” Newman said. “So that kind of communication is not going to change, and some of the people who are making the move are already in the habit of instant messaging a colleague who works six feet away from them.”

The staff is excited to move because it’s a sign of the progression and expansion of the Information School, but because the new offices will mostly hold staff, the sound of students will surely be missed, Glenda Bullock, the Information School’s marketing communications specialist, said.

“I don’t anticipate that we will see a lot of students there – I would like to,” Bullock said. “One of the things I’ll miss about being in North Quad is the interaction with the students and faculty, but we’re only two blocks away, so I expect we’ll be back pretty often.”

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