In the winter of 2018, demolition of Lowry will begin in order to make room for the Madison Cyber Labs. Weather permitting, the construction for the Madison Cyber Labs, or ‘Mad Labs’ for short, will begin in the spring.
The Vice President for Business and Administrative Services, Stacy Krusemark, discussed the project with us, “we have to go to the legislature this session to get authorization, both to demolish Lowry Hall and to construct Madison Cyber Labs. So as soon as that legislation is passed, we have that proper authorization, and we have the funds in hands, which is the key component. This will hopefully happen in January or February, the legislation being passed and then signed by the governor, and then we can do demolition of Lowry Hall as soon as the weather allows this to occur.”
The offices that currently reside in Lowry Hall will all be moved to various places. Currently, the first floor of the library is under construction as the ITS department will be moving into that area, as well as some of the offices from 2nd floor Lowry.
The help desk will also be moving to the first floor of the library, and that should be ready when students get back from break in January.
“Construction of the cyber labs is dependent on the weather allowance in the spring of ‘18. And then the construction timeline will depend on when we start, so sometime in the spring of 2018, and be done sometime in the middle of 2019 and again, that’s dependent on weather.”
Right now, they’re in the middle of the planning process and figuring out what the building will look like, including interior, exterior, etc. As soon as those pieces are complete, the construction can be underway.
Krusemark commented on the plans for the building, “Dr. Griffiths has shown a few presentations where she has talked about the Mad Labs, but they include Cyber Security to Gen CybHer, along with the Classics Institute, which asks the question of ethics in cyber security, and privacy in cyber security, and all the things that we might take for granted. It questions if it’s the right thing to do ethically even though technology allows us to do it.”
The Mad Labs are not going to be another classroom hall. They will be a research center for graduate and undergraduate programs, along with academic development and outside contractors. It is something that can be hands-on that provides equipment for research revolving around cybersecurity questions.