For those without computers, computer skills or Internet access, Elliot Park, 1000 E. 14th St has a new computer lab. Park Director Travis Hegland said the six Compaq PCs were installed in late July. An Internet connection was the last step before opening the lab.
The park will offer computer classes to youth and teens, Hegland said. He hopes to offer programming and instruction to adults and seniors, but specifics have not yet been set.
The computers will also be available to the public during open lab hours, to be announced. A schedule of fall programming will also be announced soon.
Corky Wiseman, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) district supervisor, said Elliot Park is one of 13 sites to get new computers, donated by General Mills and other sponsors, including Hennepin County. Minneapolis-based nonprofit Osiris built the labs and will provide tech support, and Microsoft donated the software, which includes the operating systems, educational software, games — even video editing programs.
“It is supposed to reach out to all aspects of the population,” said Wiseman, citing “open lab hours for people to walk in and use [our equipment].”
Each park director will tailor computer class schedules, he said.
Wiseman said the community lab is intended mostly for educational or business use, such as preparing a r/sum/. Software can “block all inappropriate sites,” he said, including those that are X-rated or geared toward adults, or nonadult sites with “inappropriate links,” Wiseman said. Even online shopping is restricted; users must get permission to access shopping sites.
For more information about classes, programming or open lab times, call 370-4772.