On your way to the ATM or the Urness/Mort towers, you may have noticed some strange new furniture in the former bookstore space. Starting this Friday, the new Christensen Center student lounge will be open for students to relax between classes or after a long day of study and work.
A grand opening celebration will be held Friday, March 28 from 2 – 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The lounge will be blessed at 3 p.m. on Friday.
The lounge includes two pool tables, a ping pong table, and two televisions — one for playing games on an Xbox 360, while the other is an HDTV with a Blu-ray player. It will be open all year long during Christensen Center operating hours, but pool and ping pong equipment will be available only when the lounge is staffed.
The renovation was financed with $100,000 from this year’s operating budget, which covered 96% of the costs. The Weekend and Day student senates each contributed $2,000 to help complete the project.
In the future, student groups and organizations may be able to reserve the lounge through the campus activities and orientation office for a group gathering or an open-mic or spoken-word event.
Last year, the Christensen Center Task Force, with the aid of BWBR Architects in St. Paul, developed a plan for a complete renovation of Christensen. The goal was to make the building more student-centered by providing 24-hour access and adding group and individual study rooms, a computer lab, and more informal gathering places. Eventually, the former bookstore will become campus activities and student organizations office and work space as funding becomes available.