Kresge remodel gives freshmen new place to hang out

by Gabe GilsonStaff Writer

With the combined effort of many, the basement lounge in Kresge Hall is now the hot spot for all freshmen living in the dorm.

Last year, Kresge’s basement lounge had white walls, couches that did not seem to fit with one another, a television that was nothing special and a rarely-used pool table. This year, the basement has walls painted a fall shade of brown, matching comfortable couches, a new foosball table and a large flat-screen television.

The total costs for the project were estimated at $14,000 after the furniture, paint and entertainment were purchased.

Beginning last year, the efforts to bring a new look to the basement started in First-Year Council. Senior Brittany Mueller, Student Hall Coordinator in Buxton, Picken and Worth, was the facilitator in First-Year Council when she came up with the idea to change the look in Kresge.

“I talked to the First-Year Council to get the desired style, and we picked out colors that we thought would go well,” Mueller said. “It wasn’t a place that people wanted to watch TV because of the color. Now, it’s getting used a lot.”

The idea that started last year in First-Year Council received help from Residence Hall Association, RHA, which also had freshmen members. Over a period of six months, plans were made, budgets set and approvals had to be brought to Mandy Fox, director of Residence Life.

“This was an example where student need and desire, and our willingness to pursue the project and the budget all came together,” Fox said. “It is rare that all these three come together. I think it looks fantastic, and it really turned out the way we wanted or better.”

Luke Behaunek, Area Coordinator of Barker and Kresge, was the adviser of RHA last year when it decided to help with the efforts. Behaunek was very pleased with the hard work everybody put forth toward the project.

“The project really showcased what students can do on this campus through area council and RHA,” Behaunek said.

In early August, Behaunek and senior Maggie Anderson, Student Hall Coordinator for the first year halls, picked out all the furniture and started bringing it into Kresge’s basement. Anderson was very pleased with the look of the hall compared to last year.

“It is so nice,” Anderson said. “Two years ago, when I was a C.A. here, not many people used the basement but now people are always down there. It’s a nice, cozy, welcoming atmosphere.”

The current residents in Kresge hall have found the new atmosphere to be rather helpful not only in the lounging around aspect, but also for studying.

Freshman Jake Darrington is a current Kresge resident who enjoys the new features to the basement.

“It’s fun and educational because you can play pool and watch TV but still type papers and study,” Darrington said. “Of course, there’s a flat screen so I can watch my SpongeBob in high-definition.”

Behaunek knows that watching extra Nickelodeon is not the only benefit that has come through on the project.

“The main benefit I see is it’s used so much more due to the renovation,” Behaunek said. “It has created a nice social space in the building that wasn’t there before.”