By Ashar Memon, April 27 2018 —
Arts students can look forward to an upgraded study space this fall after the University of Calgary renovates the Arts Lounge over the spring and summer.
The Arts Lounge is a student-run space located on the main floor of the Social Sciences building. It was established in February 2013 through a grant from the Quality Money program — a partnership between the Students’ Union and the U of C for projects that improve quality of life on campus. The Arts Lounge previously underwent minor renovations in 2014 to add more furniture.
Faculty of Arts associate dean of research and infrastructure Brian Moorman said the current renovations will add new interior finishing and millwork, along with sound baffling in the ceiling. It will also see the creation of two new bookable workrooms.
“The renovations are part of an initiative from the Provost’s Office to improve student spaces on campus,” Moorman said in an email. “This helps create some equity across faculties.”
The renovations are expected to cost $380,000. Funds will be drawn from the U of C’s Facility Alteration Request program, which was established by U of C provost Dru Marshall in 2012.
Moorman said that construction is expected to be completed before classes begin in the fall semester. He added that the renovation plans were made in consultation with SU Arts representatives and the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association (FASA), which manages the space.
“It has been a student-driven design process,” Moorman said.
FASA vice-president operations and finance Graham Duff said the club had been considering renovations for quite some time.
“I actually had a list of things that had been brainstormed with the last two lounge managers because we had been interested in putting forward a large Quality Money grant,” Duff said.
Duff said the renovations will also include new tables, seating and a printer connected to the university’s current wireless printing network. The kitchen will also be upgraded to include more microwaves and kettles.
FASA has managed the Arts Lounge virtually since its inception in 2013, according to Duff. He added that FASA will continue to manage the space after the renovations.
“It is the informal arrangement between us and the faculty, which we are grateful for, but we also think it’s the best way that students can manage the student-managed space,” he said.
FASA doesn’t expect to change its management responsibilities for the as a result of the renovations. However, Duff expects the responsibilities to grow as the space becomes more popular.
“Hopefully it will just be a nicer-looking lounge that is more useful for everyone,” he said.