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WiredOut’s move to a new name and location gets pushed back

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WiredOut's new store location, Tech Hub, was scheduled to open in late January, but cold weather has delayed the final phase of construction. Credit: Eric Weitz / Lantern reporter

WiredOut’s new store location, Tech Hub, was scheduled to open in late January, but cold weather has delayed the final phase of construction. Credit: Eric Weitz / Lantern reporter

Though technology store WiredOut was set to move in January, construction was slowed by cold weather.

Construction crews are waiting for better weather to pour a concrete ramp that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the new location near Oxley’s cafe, said Katharine Keune, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

“When we got to the point of ramp building, weather kind of turned unfavorable, so they weren’t able to pour concrete at that point in time” Keune said.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, wheelchair ramps that fit ADA specifications are a statutory necessity that enable disabled people to get in and out of buildings safely.

“We can’t open unless there is an ADA-compliant ramp to the store, just like all of the other stores that are along that path,” Keune said.

Keune added that once crews begin to pour the ramp, they will need about two weeks to complete the work. After the ramp is finished, she said, the WiredOut staff will begin the transition to the new store.

“They will need a little time to get in, do some dry runs, and make sure they have all of their customer service points right,” Keune said, adding that the store will likely open a few weeks after the ramp is completed. “The store is moving over, but it is also becoming something really new.”

Keune cited the store’s growth and expanded product offerings as a driving factor in the move, which also comes with a new name, Tech Hub, that reflects modern technology.

“Ultimately, it is becoming something that is not wired,” she said of changing the store’s name to Tech Hub. “It is a very wireless nature now, so we wanted to give it a more fitting name to match the new offerings.”

The movement of WiredOut to Tech Hub was previously projected to cost about $600,000 for construction, signage, marketing and equipment.

“We are adding a lot more accessories,” said store manager Chris Helman.“We had been sort of limited in the past ­— we just had a little room for some computers and a little room for accessories. Now we are able to expand that and offer a few more brands.”

Helman said the new facility will also incorporate several new elements that will make the store more than just a retail outlet. The OCIO will open a new BuckeyeBar at Tech Hub to assist students with troubleshooting technological problems.

The store will also continue to offer hardware repair services at the new location, Helman said.

“Then, there are the educational activities that will be handled by the Office of Distance Education and eLearning,” he said. “They will be doing software workshops and that kind of activity.”

Tech Hub also plans to offer 3-D printing services and hopes to have a developer loaner program for students interested in experimental technology.

Helman said roughly eight to 10 students are employed each semester in addition to four full-time employees. The new store will employ four additional student employees.

In an email, Dan Hedman, spokesman for the Office of Administration and Planning, said university officials anticipate a future “academic use” for the current WiredOut location, but a decision on its use has not yet been made.

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