Cellar off to stellar start


by Andrea McNamara

“The Cellar” is leased, the renovation is underway, and membersof Simpson’s SIFE group are expecting to open the doors to theirproject, The Storm Cellar, in late March.

Three years ago Simpson’s SIFE group took a campus-wide surveyand found that students wanted a place to hang out with theirfriends, said Patricia Anderson, assistant professor for thedepartment of accounting, economics, management and marketing.

“The great thing about this is that it will provide anotherplace for Simpson students,” said Anderson.

SIFE students leased a building, on Nov. 15, on the north sideof the square at 110 W. Ashland, said Tom Schmidt, chair of thedepartment of accounting, economics, management, and marketing.

The Storm Cellar will not only feature Piccadilly pizza andsubs, but also a variety of non-alcoholic beverages. The StormCellar will have a cozy sitting area, two pool tables, a smallstage for live music or performers, and a big-screentelevision.

According to Anderson, the physical remodeling of the buildingis almost finished. It was largely SIFE students that worked to get”The Cellar” to where it is now.

A group of 20 SIFE members have been working on this project andworking together has helped them to realize the importance indeadlines, cooperation, and attention to detail. It’s beenespecially challenging because almost every member of SIFE isinvolved it at least one other organization or athletic team oncampus, said SIFE chapter president, Jessica Fagen.

“(We’ve learned a lot about) teamwork within a business, what itreally means, and what it really takes to start a business,” saidFagen.

The building itself was gutted after a Chinese restaurant leftthe location, and SIFE members have been working from the groundup. SIFE members have decided on a “cellar” theme for theestablishment-it boasts brick walls, dark ceilings, art work fromSimpson art students and cozy furniture.

“We’ve gotten a lot of stuff donated,” said Fagen.

The Simpson SIFE chapter has used grant funding to get The StormCellar up and running, according to Anderson.

The Storm Cellar will be a not-for-profit business; and anyexcess revenue will be returned to the Simpson chapter SIFEaccount. The ultimate goal is to fund other SIFE projects with therevenue raised by The Storm Cellar.

According to Fagen, The Storm Cellar will employ between fiveand seven Simpson students at minimum wage. They will be takingapplications after spring break, said Schmidt. According toAnderson, internship credit may be available for students who arehired to work there.

The Storm Cellar will feature a late night hangout for Simpsonstudents and may expand hours to include lunch depending on what isneeded by consumers, said Schmidt.

The hours, set up by the SIFE group, are unique because at notime will high school students and college students mingle at thesame hangout. SIFE members are surveying Indianola High Schoolstudents to determine what their needs are, and may have The StormCellar open to high school students in the early evening hours andwill open up to Simpson students later in the evening, saidAnderson.

“It’s away from campus, but it’s just for (Simpson students),”said Fagen.