January 06, 2011
The Seymour Union student lounge at Knox College is getting a long-awaited facelift that will provide Knox students with a spruced-up space where they can grab a bite to eat, watch movies, listen to bands, play games, or just relax.
The lounge renovation project, which started shortly after Thanksgiving, could be finished by the time Knox students return for the spring term, said Craig Southern, associate dean of students for campus life. The Knox Board of Trustees approved the renovation in October.
"The things it will add to student life on campus are enormous," he said. "Students kept saying, ‘We just need a space to go after the Gizmo closes.'"
The entire area will be redone, with one side consisting mainly of pool tables, ping pong tables, and other types of games. The other side will be an all-purpose room, with a screen for movies and a stage for musicians or other performers. Students will be able to watch television or play video games on the three or four monitors that will be placed throughout the lounge. Sandwiches and other food and drinks will be available from vending machines.
Students have provided input on exactly what they'd like to see in the renovated space, Southern said. The lounge's operating hours haven't yet been determined.
The southern portion of Seymour Union, including the Wallace Lounge, flooded in early 2007 when a thunderstorm, coming on the heels of an ice storm, dropped nearly 1½ inches of rain on the Knox campus and the rest of Galesburg.
"When this occurred," Southern said, "the thought was initially, ‘Hey, we could take this opportunity and do something really nice.'"
In the meantime, the space does not sit idle. Students have used the space for various activities, such as a roller skating party in September.
"Even though right now it's just a couple of pool tables and some chairs that we bought, people are saying, ‘This is great. This is wonderful,'" Southern said. "I can only imagine what it'll be like when we have more. My guess is it will be very well-used."