By: Hailey Temple

Although the School of Information Studies (iSchool) settled into Hinds Hall only five years ago, the rapid changes taking place during the Information Age have called for major transformations to the curriculum and the building. To continue this trend of innovation, the iSchool is creating the ICE Box, a collaborative open workspace for students.

The ICE Box – an acronym for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship – is an interactive office space intended to allow students to meet and exchange ideas about projects both inside and outside of the classroom. “We heard from students and staff that they wanted an informal space to meet and exchange ideas,” said Assistant Dean of Advancement Scott Barrett. “We have maxed out the space in the iSchool, so we wanted to make sure we are making the most of the building’s available space.”

The ICE Box’s 3,700 square-foot space, located on the second floor, will feature six faculty offices and flexible spaces that allow students to transform the space for meetings. In order to utilize the space the iSchool offers, the ICE Box will expand to a second-floor deck over the iCafe. Designed by Jen Hamilton, assistant professor at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the ICE Box will feature modern and colorful décor with walls of whiteboards and translucent panels. Large tabletops will be available for students to gather and use their computers to conference about projects. The iSchool is also planning to create an iPad space that allows direct connections to resources both within the university and around the world.

The first 2,100 square feet of space will be renovated throughout this summer, concluding at the beginning of the fall semester. Depending on funding and construction timelines, the 1,600 square feet of additional space will be completed by fall 2014. The project will cost approximately $1.2 million, supported by alumni and friends of the iSchool.

ICE Box will be based at the iSchool, but is available to students around campus to make the most of the renovated space. “We hope people will walk by and be inspired to see what students are doing in the ICE Box. The iSchool does a great job collaborating with other schools across the university, and we hope this space continues to build that relationship between colleges and with students” said Barrett.

Although the ICE Box is intended to be a place for innovation and collaboration, Barrett is looking forward to seeing how the space changes over time. “I am interested to see how evolves. We are creating this space that answers what people were asking for and we hope it becomes a hallmark of the iSchool.”