Reporter’s notebook: TCC reopens Northeast campus computer lab

Tulsa Community College (TCC) campuses have been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  All classes were switched to online.

On June 1, the Northeast campus (NEC) FACET Computer Center was reopened. It is the first facility in the entire TCC to be fully prepared to meet students again.

I reserved a computer at the center using a link provided by TCC on its Facebook post.

When I drove into the NEC parking area, I could see blue and white signs pointing to the southern entrance of the building.

At the entrance, everybody has to scan his/her ID before entering the campus. Photo credited to Tanya Nyborg

At the door, at least six employees wearing blue t-shirts and facial masks greeted me.

Stephen Hill, fitness center specialist, gave a free mask to me. Then I had to scan my TCC ID.

Stephen Hill, TCC fitness center specialist, distributes facial masks to students at the Northeast campus. Photo credited to Tanya Nyborg

The scanning was tricky. I learned to hold the ID with its barcode facing the scanner at a distance of one foot for a better result.

A few minutes later, I had to go through a temperature checking station.

The digital thermometer on the tripod is capable of determining body temperature without touching a person. Photo credited to Tanya Nyborg

I stood on a floor sign, and a digital thermometer installed about four yards from the sign, determined that I did not have a fever. Two policemen were operating the thermometer.

I must admit that despite I had read about all check-ups in the Facebook post before coming, I still was slightly confused actually doing that. It was not scary, but it was different. I had learned how to access the college facility during a dangerous pandemic.  

The floor signs directed me to the computer lab. I could see a wide-open space with dozens of computer stations placed far apart from each other.

The computers are placed far apart from each other at the FACET Center. Photo credited to Tanya Nyborg

I found my computer by the number posted on the table and noticed that the keyboard had a protective plastic cover.

First, I thought that the plastic cover would limit my typing ability, but it was not a problem.

I could do my homework and print a few papers at the printing/scanning station.

Hand sanitizers and small buckets with wet wipes were available for using in different corners of the lab.

Devon Stewart, administrative assistant at NEC, schedules the computer reservations for students. Photo credited to Tanya Nyborg

Devon Stewart, an administrative assistant at the NEC, explained how to book a reservation at the computer lab.

“Go to the TCC website, select the library home page, and you will see a banner “Reserve a computer,” he said.

“Other ways to schedule for the use of a computer are by phone 918-595-7592, by email,, or by walking in,” Stewart added.

“A student may book a computer for two hours per day,” he said. “But we do not kick the student off after the reservation time is over if nobody else requested the computer.”

Stewart described that the computers are spaced seven feet apart in the lab. There are 30 computer stations available at the FACET Center .

Printing, scanning and Wi-Fi service are also offered.

The FACET Center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Stewart confirmed that TCC also disinfected the NEC spaces with hand-held foggers while it was closed on quarantine.

Kurt Nielson, emergency operations manager at TCC, said that a group of TCC employees submitted their ideas on how to safely reopen the campus. A decision was made to determine entrance and exit doors and direction of walking flow from the entrance to the exit with floor signs.

People who arrive to the college with a very high fever will be recommended to leave the building through a different exit and come back later.

When I was leaving the FACET Center for a lunch break, I could see that a janitor cleaned the computer station I had used.

I came back in an hour, and I had to go through the same check-ups again at the entrance. I felt comfortable doing that since I already learned the routine.

I believe it is safe to use the NEC campus services, according to my research and personal experience.

Back To Top