Simpson gets new language lab

Simpson gets new language lab

by Katie Langesen

Simpson College will be building a state-of-the-art language lab beginning next year.

Simpson has been given a grant from the Principal Financial Group Foundation of Des Moines, making the creation of a new lab possible. Over the next four years, Principal will be making payments to Simpson.

Patricia Calkins, assistant professor of German, is expecting the construction to be finished sooner than four years.

“Principal is paying the money over a couple of years, but the money is definitely coming so Simpson can give us some of that money in advance,” Calkins said.

She is hoping that work will begin on the lab next year, with the construction being complete the year after.

In order to receive this grant, Simpson had to write up a proposal with the required amount necessary for the building of the lab and submit it to Principal.

Dennis Hunt, vice president for college advancement, said, “They [the language department professors] showed us the equipment and design needed for a language lab appropriate to Simpson and we submitted it to Principal Financial Group Foundation.”

The professors in the language department are happy about the new lab.

“[It’s] really high time that we have state of the art equipment in the language lab. Students will be a lot happier using the language lab if we have equipment that’s up to date,” said Eugenia Kos, professor of Spanish.

Although a location has not been chosen yet for the new lab, plans are already being made for the equipment inside.

“[It will be an] all digital lab that is also an electronic classroom, as opposed to what we have now,’ said Calkins. “This is going to be something that is state-of-the art and one of the best classrooms on campus.”

“The tape in a fixed booth is going by the wayside,” said Mark Bates, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the department of foreign languages.

“The lab we have now has been easily out of date for 20 years; we don’t want to end up with something that 2 years from now will be obsolete.”

“It’s a step in the right direction, it’s goin gto be nice to have the technology in the humanities department instead of the sciences. I was impressed to hear that Simpson was coming up with the rest of the money to help make it possible sooner,” said junior Elizabeth Ellyson.