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Game Room Renovation

What's Going On?

By Christian Pridemore
On January 26, 2016


The game room is one of Concord’s most popular student and commuter lounges, offering entertainment in the forms of billiards, ping-pong, video games, computers, board games, and even renting sports equipment during the warmer times of the yearThe rumor has been going around for years that the game room is going to be renovated, and every year it has been promised, and every year it remains stagnant. So what’s going on? What is going to happen to the game room? Unsurprisingly, the root of this problem comes from a lack of budget. 

Andrew Sulgit, Director of the Student center and Director of Activities, confirms that the renovation will not progress until the money is available to move forward. Sulgit states, “Up until we took a little downturn on budget, the infrastructure was-and still is- really in place. We spent many, many meetings with architects ironing out where we want to go from the flooring to the ceiling fans. The plan is there, I feel like once the budget gets back to where it needs to be all it will really involve is pulling the trigger on it.”  

Sulgit claims to have big plans for the renovation of the game room as well, including complete removal of the counter space for more usable space by students, better lighting, new furniture, easy-to-replace carpet tiling, additional screens for multiplayer gaming, paint, chair rails, access points and other technological improvements, and physical charging stations 

However, the best-laid plans often go awry, and the game room is no exception. Therefore, Sulgit states that until such a time as the money to do a complete renovation is in the budget, he will focus on making small, incremental improvements, which have already been taking place. “A coat of paint here, additional game systems here, resurfacing the pool table tops, which was no small project from a cost standpoint maybe we improve our games library dramatically, maybe we add this or that to it, smaller steps until we can do the big renovation.”  

Sulgit also urges students to come to him or the game room manager, Morgan Hill, with ideas of how to better use the space or about any specific ideas they might have about the renovation, especially ideas that are more cost efficient. I really want that kind of input from students that do use it, because to me you’re the customer on it, and I want to find out what we need, and if we can do it, I’ll try to do it. I encourage input.” Many of the dramatic costs of the renovation stem from the fact that the building itself is so old that precautionary measures to do renovations would need to be taken, which in turn costs more money. So when will the money be there? When will the game room be finished? 

“Good question,” says Sulgit, “Budget depends on a lot of factors, from what the state gives us, to what enrollment is, to what retention is. And the other thing too is some projects on campus are have to- if a building has hole in the roof, we’d like to do the game room, but we’ve got to address that first, so I think some of its gonna come down to what needs done versus what we want to get done I hope it’s soon though, and if there’s a silver lining to it it’s that the plan is in place, and that plan was over a year, maybe more, in development, and doing these big architectural projects- there’s a lot of time and effort to it. So at least that’s done- all it needs now is to just add dollars. We know what we want to do; it’s just a matter of implementation. 

So if it is a matter of the money not being sufficient to fund the renovation, then where does the money come from? Rick Dillon, Vice President for Administration and Associate Dean of Students, has the answer. Dillon states that because the budget for this cycle is so low, they’re focusing more on things that are required to keep the campus running properly and safely. Such projects as are what sorts of things are required to keep elevators operating, or proper adherence to ADA guidelines for safety are some of the more primary concerns. However, Dillon encourages the upkeep of the current game room facilities as well. “I don’t want to mislead you- if some of the computers went down, and we couldn’t fix them, we would probably replace them, or if we lost a big TV, we’d probably replace the TV even if it’s an expensive TV. But can we do $100,000 game room improvement project this year? No. Primarily because our student numbers for the last two years have been down. For that reason, all the projects we’d like to do, but we don’t have to do, have been put on hold.”  

Dillon states that the issue with the budget comes from two main sources: lower state appropriation of funds and lower number of students coming in each year. In an effort to try to mitigate some of the effects of a lower state appropriation, which is something Dillon cannot fix, a new admissions director and an outside company that helps with admissions have been hired in order to drive up admissions, which in turn will drive up the money going into the budget. “If we could just get four or five hundred more students-three hundred, even- the readily available cash has increased dramatically…We can’t stop doing everything that moves us forward. There has to be some strategic planning. If it was 30 or $40,000, we’d get it lined up to get it done, but to do all the renovation is $100,000 which is not something we have the money for now.”  

Dillon is just as optimistic as Andrew Sulgit about the renovations, but unfortunately, it won’t happen this year simply because there’s no money in the current budget. Dillon states that if the number of students for next year is good in the fall semester, they may move to the project in the spring semester. ” We’re trying to make it through this year without doing any other major project. Just try to be patient; we are doing the residence hall aspect this year, and we’ll see what we can do after that.

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