The City of Bellevue Parks & Recreation Board recognized the Komputer Enthusiasts of Greater Seattle (KEGS) and Microsoft Corporation For their contributions to the community through their continued support of the Computer Training Lab at the North Bellevue Community Center.
The presentation took place on October 10, 2006 at the monthly meeting of the Bellevue Parks & Recreation Board in the Council Conference Room (1E-113) at the City of Bellevue's City Hall - 450 110th Ave NE, Bellevue WA, 98004.
Following is the handout prepared by the administration at the North Bellevue Community Center that was given to the Board.
North Bellevue Community/Senior Center ~ Computer Lab Fact Sheet
- The modern Computer Lab began in 1999 with a donation of 16 computers from the City of Bellevue. With that as a starting point; KEGS negotiated donations from eight major hardware vendors, four major software vendors, monetary contributions from local business, as well as contributions of equipment and labor of their members. The initial value of the equipment, software and labor to set up the Lab was $95,000.
- The partnership with Komputer Enthusiasts of Greater Seattle (KEGS) was formed at this time, with the first project being the significant task of design, installation and setup of the Computer Lab. KEGS installed and networked the computers, solicited donations of software, hardware, cabling, and furniture, installed a server and assumed ongoing maintenance of the Lab.
- Microsoft Corporation has been a major contributor and has given continued support of the lab. Beginning with the initial 17 licenses for Office 97 and Small Business Server 2.0 and through three major upgrades to our current software of Windows XP, Microsoft XP Professional, Works Suite, and Small Business Server 2003, Microsoft has worked with KEGS to provide the Lab with software upgrades at every request. The value of the software updates donated through Microsoft since the lab was initially put into service is approximately $75,000.
- In 2002, a major hardware upgrade was funded by the North Bellevue Senior Advisory Board. This upgrade included larger hard drives and additional memory for each computer and Deep Freeze security software. All labor to install these components and software was provided by KEGS volunteers.
- This on-going partnership benefits the City, KEGS, and the community in many ways. In exchange for meeting space 2 evenings each week, KEGS volunteers maintain the Computer Lab, fix problems as they arise, upgrade equipment and solicit donations of hardware and software.
- The most recent lab upgrade is the addition of high-speed internet service via cable modem, allowing the Lab to offer a variety of courses on safely navigating the internet, e-mail, search engines, etc.. Equipment is in place to add wi-fi access for the facility which will allow people to bring their laptops to the Center and access the internet from the Coffee Bar and the Banquet Room, and depending on signal strength, the rest of the building as well. Wi-fi is a frequent request of potential renters and partner agencies.
- Over 600 individuals have taken a course in the Computer Lab. When the lab first opened, classes filled to 14 students and had waiting lists. Offerings were the very basics such as "Introduction to Windows" and "Introduction to Word". Over time, courses changed to meet the needs of students to became smaller, more specialzed courses such as: "Using Digital Cameras", "Photo Editing", and "Scanning". "One-On-One" help has been another popular addition, with nearly every available slot filling each quarter. The newest course offerings in the Computer Lab include, "Burning CDs", "Many Faces of Google", and "Internet Safety".