Clark A lounge gets a face-lift
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The Clark A lower lounge is currently undergoing renovations to become the new home of Conference Services.
Director of Conference Services Melinda Harriman is excited because it will give them a permanent office space, after decades of temporary office accommodations. She hopes that this new area will give Conference Services a chance to grow more than it has ever been able to before.
“Conference Services is responsible for generating significant revenue for the college,” said Harriman. This is primarily from renting out buildings for conferences and events, such as weddings. Most events happen in the summer, though a few occur during the school year.
The lower lounge used to feature ping-pong tables, couches and a television. The room is now empty and stripped, except construction equipment and support beams.
Though the downstairs space will no longer be available to students, Fabian shared that those in charge kept students in mind when discussing renovations. They have planned changes for the upstairs lounge as well. The Clark A classroom will be turned into a common room in order to give students more open space to be together and provide easier all-day access to the kitchen.
This year, several of the section lounges were turned into dorm rooms in order to accommodate extra students. Rachel Fabian, Clark Resident Director, said that depending on the amount of incoming students, these might possibly revert back to lounges in the coming years.
Fabian’s office and the R.A. lounge are being switched, and several upstairs walls will be demolished to create a better flow for students. Similar to Page Hall, the RA Lounge will be surrounded by glass to create “a more inviting atmosphere” as Fabian described. The ping-pong tables will be moved into the upper lounge, as will the television.
First-years Lizzy Flum and Lydia Grenko expressed that even though they like the idea of a more open room, they, along with several other students, are very worried that the lounge will no longer be a quiet study area.
Residents also expressed that they miss the convenient water fountains and bathrooms, and hope that they will be replaced.
Fabian said that as far as the Conference Services staff goes, she is “excited to have them as neighbors.”
Harriman is also enthusiastic about the project because she hopes that as Conference Services grows in this new space, it will “bring in more revenue in support of Westmont's primary mission—the educating of students.”
Photo by Donald Brubaker