By Laurie Drukier
Cheers and applause resounded through residence last week when Take Your Place unveiled 16 renovated student lounges, complete with big screen TVs, new furniture and state-of-the-art information kiosks.
“This renovation was long overdue—students may not want to leave the couch!” joked Rachel Wik, second-year student and community advisor in Kananaskis Hall.
The lounges were designed by EVDS graduate students as part of Take Your Place, a 40th anniversary project to revitalize 40 student spaces around campus.
Designer Kathryn Tonelli knows how important comfort is for students. “We wanted to create something like a living room, where personal and academic relationships can flourish,” she said.
The upgrades to eight lounges in Rundle Hall and eight in Kananaskis Hall also include new flooring, paint, light fixtures, wall treatments and furniture.
Sustainability was a key component of the design process. “Durability is important because these lounges are used by so many people for so long,” said Joel Lynn, director of residence services.
“Not only are the materials environmentally friendly, but the furniture is built so that it’s easy to replace only what needs to be replaced—one arm or cushion, for instance.”
Students and their parents will also be impressed with the new televisions and information kiosks. The kiosks contain the first electronic billboards that will eventually be seen all over campus, displaying up-to-the minute news, events, and in residence, building and residence-wide announcements.
The computers and monitors for the kiosks were donated by Dell and will replace the clutter and waste of the many posters and paper announcements that used to line the foyer walls.
“We hope this will add to the family feeling for students in residence,” said Sheila O’Brien, the president’s special advisor on student life, who leads the Take Your Place campaign. “We’re thrilled that students have comfortable, bright places to interact—a home away from home.”
Wik agrees. “There is no way anyone will forget what has been done in these buildings.”