April 6, 2011

Student Lounge renovation complete

The Taylor Lounge has finally been completed. Taylor Student Lounge and Game Room was a name selected by Student Senate to commemorate the soon-to-retire President of the college, Roger Taylor.

For $880,000 in 1960, the lounge had its first serious construction.In 2007, the lounge was flooded with 1.5 inches of water by a thunderstorm that hit Galesburg after an ice storm. This damaged the space to the point of making it unusable. Prior to the flood, the lounge (at the time known as the Wallace Lounge), served as a place to hang out, do homework and watch performances. The space hosted bands like the Hoot Hoots, which at the time consisted of recent Knox alumni.

Since then, the space has been usable for club meetings and parties, like the Union Board black light party that took place during fall term of this academic year, but according to previous The Knox Student interviews with Associate Dean of Campus Life, Craig Southern, there was a greater need for a student space.

Beginning almost immediately after Knox students left for winter break 2010, the Taylor Lounge renovation has been underway ever since. Now it is sectioned off into two areas. The first is a game room, equipped with ping-pong and pool tables and several seating areas. The second is an area equipped with large televisions and numerous seating areas, intended for snacking, studying or just hanging out.

Parked at a large desk near the entrance of the lounge, one is likely to see junior Katelynn Schlaman. Previously a lifeguard at Knox, Schlaman is now employed in the new lounge. She is responsible for checking out the many board, table and video games that are now available in this new lounge.

Schlaman said that the lounge has been promoted extremely well. “I feel like everyone knows that this exists whether they wanted to or not.” She expressed deep satisfaction with the quality of the space, with only one critique: “there are no clocks.”

She described the previous space as “kind of shady, but not unusable.” The lounge’s “shady” nature has dissipated with the newly decked-out décor, and was prepared for the needs of the Knox College campus.

This need has been met, according to senior Tim Schmeling. He said that Knox was in great need of a “24 hour study space, so there’s more than just Founders.” This is now his favorite component of the newly renovated space.

Schmeling says that he wished there was access to the vending machines from the study side of the room, especially when the game room is locked. He also wished that he’d had a space like this for more of his time at Knox, but is incredibly pleased with its turnout.

Secretary for Campus Life Cindy Wickliffe has seen the student lounge through all its rough times, having worked at Knox for the last 20 years. Wickliffe praises the space for its class and versatility. She’s very pleased and loves that it “suits a lot of needs. It’s a great place to hang out or have programs.”

The best part of the lounge, in Wickliffe’s opinion, is “the little cove tabling place, which seems like a nice place to sit or study.” She attended the opening night and enjoyed simply sitting around and listening to the live music that was brought in for the lounge’s grand opening.

A self-proclaimed lounge addict, sophomore Carly Oto said that the old space “was nothing, it was not anywhere I’d want to spend my time,” but is now down there daily doing homework and talking with friends.

Sophomore Abby Kobler joins Oto in her love of the new space. She describes the lounge as “a great place to meet up with people for stuff.” She also enjoys the versatility of the space and the ease with which a studier can take breaks in this new space.

For Oto, the library was too quiet to accomplish any real studying. This lounge has distinctive study places and what Oto refers to as a “respectful, lounge area.” She does think that seating will eventually become a problem “as more people love [the lounge] like I do.”

Samantha Paul
Samantha Paul is a senior double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She previously served as both a news reporter and a copy editor for TKS. During the summer of 2012, Sam served as press chair of a literacy brigade in El Salvador. She has also interned with both Bloom Magazine and The Galesburg Register-Mail. At Knox, Sam is an organizational editor for Catch magazine.

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