Underground undergoes changes

April 30th, 2009

The Student Union is looking into creating a place where students can play games and relax in the Lombardo Student Center.

Last year Vice president for Student Organizations Andrea Capasso and then-Vice President for Business Affairs Shaylyn Mahoney took on the project of turning the Underground into a lounge space for students.
The first stage of renovation took place last summer. The Underground was updated with new carpet, paint and ceiling design. This happened simultaneously with the remodeling of the cafeteria.

This year, the current Student Union executive board, along with Donna Byrnes, the dean of students, and Kris Willis,  who works in facilities planning and implementation, continued to work on the Underground project by moving forward with more tangible plans and a layout.

Amanda Papa, the Student Union executive vice president said, “I saw the plans, and I really like how they look. I hope we are able to implement them in the upcoming semester.”

According to Papa, however, the process is lengthy.

Papa said, “Last year, Shaylyn [Mahoney] and I were taking part in its initial stages by talking with administrators and doing research to learn what students want to see in the Underground.”

Details about how long couches should be, the softness of chairs and appropriate design of furniture conducive to doing schoolwork were all taken into account.

Currently, the project is moving forward.  The renovation will include adding chairs, televisions  and gaming tables.

Willis estimates the entire project will cost between $35,000 and $40,000.
The Student Union executive board is currently looking for ways to fund the renovation of the lounge area with Byrnes, Willis and Lisa Ramsey, director of student activities.

Capasso said, “Right now, it looks as though the Student Union will approach the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee and ask for funding from what was not spent under the current fiscal year’s allocations.”

Asking for unspent funds will not affect any programs because it is money that was allocated but not used.

These renovations are expected to be ready for students’ use by the beginning of the Fall 2009 school year.