The Lower Hudson Regional Information Center actually began operating as three separate Computer Centers, located at Southern Westchester BOCES, Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES, and Rockland BOCES. The southern and northern Westchester operations were merged in 1969 by the New York State Education Department to consolidate resources and reduce costs, and the Rockland BOCES operation was closed and taken over by SWBOCES in 1976, when the state reduced the number of Computer Centers in New York from 44 to 12.
Here are some highlights:
At Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES
1962 -- Computer Center opens in the basement of Lakeland School District
1964 -- Computer Center moves to the Fox Meadow Campus
1966 -- Computer Center moves to Triangle Shopping center
1969 -- Computer Center merges with Southern Westchester BOCES and moves to 44 Executive Blvd., as requested by the state Education Department
At Southern Westchester BOCES
1962 -- Computer Center opens on Legion Drive in Valhalla
1963 -- Computer Center moves to basement at 17 Berkley Drive in Rye Brook
1964 -- Computer Center moves to Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford
1966 -- Computer Center moved to 4 Westchester Plaza in Elmsford
1969 -- Computer Center merges with Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES and moves to 44 Executive Blvd. in Elmsford, as requested by the state Education Department
Early 1980s – An instructional technology division of the LHRIC opens offices at Marymount College in Tarrytown.
2002 – The LHRIC’s instructional technology group moves to offices at 50 Executive Blvd. in Elmsford, next door to the rest of the LHRIC operation.
At Rockland BOCES
1962 -- Computer Center opens on Rockland BOCES campus
1976 -- Computer Center in Rockland is closed and taken over by Southern Westchester BOCES, as requested by the state Education Department.
During the LHRIC’s early years, there certainly were some memorable events, according to longtime LHRIC employee Mary Wood, who began working with the LHRIC in February 1966. In 1968, said Ms. Wood, the Computer Center at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES suffered water damage when a fire broke out in an upstairs Chinese restaurant, damaging computer tapes containing important school data. In addition, a fire at 17 Berkeley Drive in March 1974 destroyed school district attendance records.
Because of the complexity and sensitivity of the information handled and processed by the LHRIC, the staff often takes extra steps to make sure that information is delivered. When a number of employee and teacher union strikes took place over the years in the region’s school districts, LHRIC employees had to deliver payroll checks to locations outside of school district property. Even during power outages and major storms, including Hurricane Sandy, the LHRIC does everything it can to provide uninterrupted services to its districts.
The progress made in educational technology during the LHRIC’s 50 years has been nothing short of phenomenal. In the 1960s, payroll and student records were processed from decks of color-coded key punch cards. Equipment was used to sort the cards and giant computers and printers processed and printed checks and report cards that had to be delivered to school districts. “Sometimes the cards were dropped and had to be reassembled,” said Ms. Wood.
Today, district personnel sit in their own school buildings and sometimes at home inputting and updating payroll records, student schedule information, and more. Students are participating in videoconferences with students around the world. Today’s technology provides the ability to access information anywhere and everywhere in the world and at any time.
No matter what the situation, the LHRIC staff has risen to the occasion, with students being their top priority.