A flood in the basement of Seymour Union on March 1, 2007 meant the use of Wallace Lounge had to be rethought after the carpet and flooring had to be torn up. The space was not immediately remodeled, and many saw it as a chance to make the lounge into an even better, usable space.
The lounge used to hold club meetings and was just a place to go to unwind. Katherine Kadlec, junior, said she and her friends used to frequent the lounge before the flood.
“We’d go down there if we were really stressed, and if you were just looking for someone to hang out with, there was usually someone down there playing pool and you could just join them for a game,” Kadlec said.
Although Kadlec and her friends enjoyed having a space where they could socialize, she admitted there were problems with the lounge, like the fact that it was not taken care of very well. In spite of that, she still thinks it would be great if the school could fix the lounge up.
“I think this is a really good opportunity for them to fix up Wallace Lounge and make it what it could be. Add some more things down there to do. Maybe some board games or something just to spice it up a little bit, make it a little more interesting,” said Kadlec.
Kadlec is not the only person on campus who believes the lounge could be put to better use. Senior Student Senate President Brad Middleton also has ideas regarding the possible use of the space. Middleton explained that during the 2007 spring term, the Student Senate created a Wallace Lounge committee that consisted of student senators (Middleton included), Dean Xavier Romano, VP of Finance Tom Axtell, Dean Craig Southern, Vice-President of Advancement Beverly Holmes, and with the likely addition of Dining Services Director Helmut Mayer as well. This committee was charged with the task of coming up with place for the use of Wallace Lounge.
“We kind of started off, last year, with an idea to turn it into some sort of lounge space on one side with couches and chairs and TVs and things with the idea that it would be a 24-hour space for students to study or hang out or whatever, because there really is no area for that on campus currently. And then the other side, which was the games room, we would include a games room in the renovation as well and include some sort of a Dining Services point of service. What that would consist of is still up in the air,” Middleton said.
Last summer, members of the committee received plans from an architect with different possible designs for the lounge, and this past fall term, the committee met and deliberated about and refined the plans.
At first there was hope something could be done about the lounge by spring term of this year. Middleton said that is not likely to happen because a lot of the money which could go toward it has been spent on fixing Old Main’s roof, although he does have hope there are other ways to fund this project that would get the Wallace Lounge problem solved sooner rather than later.
Although the Wallace Lounge committee has not met again since fall term, they are trying to set up a meeting sometime before the end of this term.
“I think it’s something that we currently lack that we need to have,” Middleton said. “I’ve tried to keep this on the radar screen…and make sure that it’s at the forefront because I think it’s something that students will really be excited about.”