As it sprints toward its milestone 150th anniversary, Alabama A&M University is planning for the future with investment in cutting-edge Wi-Fi across its campus to facilitate student learning, research capabilities, collaboration, and security.
The university has named Apogee, the only managed-services provider focused solely on higher education, to provide wireless service for more than 6,900 students and faculty throughout every academic building and area, including the 972-acre Winifred Thomas Agricultural Research Station in Hazel Green.
Founded in 1875 by a former slave, Alabama A&M is a Historical Black College and University and a traditional 1890 land-grant institution. A dynamic and progressive institution committed to academic excellence, AAMU prepares students not only to excel in their careers, but also to succeed at life.
“One of our 2021 strategic goals was to drastically improve our Wi-Fi offering to meet the needs of the university in a world that is more connected than ever before,” said Alabama A&M President Dr. Andrew Hugine. “Our mobility dependence has increased exponentially over the past decade. With the average number of wireless devices jumping from 1.5 to five or more per user, keeping up with this demand in-house has become impractical given our staff and budgets.”
By partnering with Apogee for managed services, A&M will be able to improve connectivity, reliability, performance, IT service and support, and financial predictability, while freeing administrators from the hassles of equipment and network refreshes and giving them the gift of time and energy to focus on important strategic campus initiatives.
Students, faculty, and researchers will return to campus in Spring 2021 to a significantly improved digital experience with the new, state-of-the-art, high-speed, and reliable Wi-Fi network in all four colleges and at the research station.
AAMU’s new Wi-Fi network, which will connect seamlessly with the existing residential network, will provide blended learning opportunities for students to connect to live lectures remotely and view recorded lecture material online. It will foster increased collaboration between peers and teachers for better student outcomes and higher student satisfaction ratings.
And it will let AAMU students feel connected whether in a classroom, studying remotely or elsewhere on campus. They will also have instant access to Apogee’s 24/7/365 support via phone, chat, text, and email. In addition, it will provide real-time location analytics to understand facility utilization and ensure campus safety.
“In response to COVID-19 and growing parental concerns over school-related emergencies, we needed to have the system be able to accurately locate users and devices across the campus as part of our life safety planning and contact tracing strategies,” said Dr. Damian Clarke, Chief Information Officer.
The new managed campus network provides a predictable funding model, comprehensive support, SLA-driven performance metrics, and regular equipment refreshes and to ensure the network is always up-to-date and modernized.
AAMU’s search for a technology partner led them to choose Apogee because of the company’s experience and track record delivering high-speed, cutting edge Wi-Fi to so many universities across the nation.
“Apogee’s proposal met or exceeded AAMU’s expectations across technical requirements, service and response times, and fiscally,” said Clarke. “We look forward to a mutually-beneficial partnership.”
“One of the foundations of our business is helping colleges and universities harness technology to drive their strategic initiatives,” said Matt Loecke, executive vice president of Sales at Apogee. “We are honored to welcome this prestigious school amongst our established HBCU partnerships, and believe that like their peers, AAMU will come to rely on Apogee’s commitment to technological and operational excellence to lay the foundation for their students’ academic success and quality of life.”
There’s some hoopla happening on The Hill!
After years of anticipation and planning, construction has begun on Alabama A&M’s 132,000-square-foot event center and arena, Turner Construction’s Huntsville office announced Thursday.
The new space will include an arena with a 6,000-person capacity, locker rooms, training rooms, an Alabama A&M athletic Hall of Fame, and a kitchen with the capability to provide meals for all events on campus.
The arena will host sporting events such as basketball and volleyball games, commencement exercises, and other university functions.
“The center will provide the university with a much-needed facility where we can host major functions, such as commencements, convocations, our annual scholarship gala, and athletic events,” said A&M President Andrew Hugine Jr. “It will be a state-of-the-art facility just off of North Memorial Parkway, and we are thrilled to be making this addition for our students and the community, which will transform the landscape of North Huntsville.”
Turner is the construction management agent for the project. Under the CMa approach, the construction manager serves as an extension of the project owner’s staff and is responsible for construction management services, including advising, coordinating, and inspecting project design and construction, and competitively bidding the various construction components to trade contractors.
Turner will work with architecture firm Nola Van Peursem and engineering firms Moody Nolan (arena consultant); The EE Group (electrical engineer); Mims Engineering (mechanical/plumbing/fire protection); Johnson and Associates (civil engineer); LBYD (structural engineer); Camacho (food service); and Bostick Landscape Architects. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.
“We are excited to partner with Alabama A&M on our fourth project together,” said Tyce Hudson, project executive at Turner Construction Company in Huntsville. “We have experienced a lot of success together and there is no doubt that this is going to be the best project yet.
“It is going to be an excellent facility for Alabama A&M University and the community.”
1. Wichita, Kan.
Topping the list is a thriving cultural and economic hub full of energy and excitement. Students thinking of attending the flagship institution of Kansas’ biggest city – Wichita State University – have more than 1,115 rental options near campus with most of the popular dining, entertainment, and nightlife hotspots just a few miles down the road. With the average rent per unit at just $671, residents won’t have to break the bank. Faculty and other community members supporting the university can expect to pay 16% of their income on rent.
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3. Oklahoma City
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The largest city in North Dakota ranks in the top four affordable college towns, with the average rent per unit averaging at $775 and residents spending 18% of income on rent. Students looking for somewhere unique and artistic with no shortage of things to do should consider North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, or Concordia College at Moorhead. With 1,720 rentals available near North Dakota State University, students looking to become part of the Thundering Herd will have plenty of options to find the perfect apartment.