The lab's just one part of the puzzle. There's also the overall environment, including organizations, events, traditions, etc. So, what I'm doing here is soliciting ideas: what do you think would make an ideal CS department? You don't need to assume anything, and you can address any aspect of the department (of course, I reserve the right to pick and choose from your advice). Please contact anyone you know who might have some advice to give and ask them to either comment to this post or email me. I'll even put my money where my mouth is, and give a gift certificate to Amazon.com or a membership to LibraryThing to anyone who submits a "surprisingly great" idea (either $10/1 year membership or $25/lifetime membership, depending on how great the idea is).
I'll summarize the suggestions in a later post, and also let you know what eventually happens (and, in future years, what the impact is, at least anecdotally). Besides all of the non-lab-related matters, I'm also looking for lab design ideas. Currently, we have one lab with around 30 Windows machines and one lab with around 15 desktop Linux machines and a 15-machine Linux cluster (so, basically a room that can hold 30 machines on tables set up in rows, but that only has 15 machines on tables).