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Improvements to Rec Center, SSC underway

Students play a game of "Super Smash Bros" Oct. 4 at one of the gaming stations in the Setzer Student Center game room located in Willow Marsh 144. UP photo by Tim Cohrs.

Work is underway to improve the Setzer Student Center and the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center.

Hector Flores, LU dean of students, said it is hard for students to find entertainment around campus and the improvements will address that need.

“The idea was to update some areas and change the atmosphere that was going on at the Setzer, and then update some things at the Rec,” he said.

The Setzer Student Center game room has moved from Cedar 160 to Willow Marsh 144.

“We went with this (room) because we want to give students an audience,” Flores said. “This really gives you a built-in audience for people who are already sitting (in the food court).”

The room includes multiple gaming chairs and two 60-inch 4K TVs, which students can use in conjunction with a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. Flores said the office of student engagement is also working to add a PlayStation 5. 

A PC gaming room will be installed in the Wolf Creek room. The room is currently a board game room with chess and other games available for students.

“The idea for this room is to get six (Alienware) PCs in here,” Flores said. Students and organizations can reserve the rooms by visiting LU Hub or by scanning the QR code on the signs outside of each room.

Flores said he came up with the general idea for the new recreational areas on an assessment, but he did seek help and guidance from staff, students and organizations.

“I reached out to the eSports team to see their input and what ideas they had for the gaming PC room,” he said. “We went to go look at the space where they currently do gaming. We talked to a couple of professors over there and they gave us tips on what to do and what not to do.”

In the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center, the pro shop is being converted to an area where student organizations can sell merchandise or fundraise.

The café, which used to be the Big Red Juice Bar, is going to be renovated, Flores said.

“We moved some of the furniture around, and we cleaned up the kitchen so students will be able to reserve this space for parties or events, and they’ll have use of the kitchen,” he said.

Renovation of the Rec Center game room started in the spring with the refurbishing of the pool tables. Over the summer, the air hockey tables were re-engineered.

“The air hockey tables have a button that you press to take the place of putting the coin in,” Jason Harrington, intramurals and sports club coordinator, said. “It does take two pushes of the button. That counts as two coins. You’ve just got to push that button twice and it starts the table up. All you got to do is check out the paddles from the equipment desk. The pucks are inside the table, and they will come out when the air gets started on the table.”

Harrington said Rec Sports will host an air hockey tournament, Oct. 12. Sign up is through

Table tennis moved to the racquetball court, and the old area is now a lounge.

Table tennis now has its own dedicated area in the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center. UP photo by Tim Cohrs.

Flores said he plans to renovate and repurpose the Rec Center patio that originally housed the mini-golf course and had been used for storage, and work began in the summer.

“It’s no longer a storage area,” Flores said. “We pressure washed everything. We had a demo team come up and tear it all up. They took all the boulders that were out here — we leveled it out. We did drainage and irrigation and laid down brand new grass. We're turning this into a mini-event space. We put out chairs, tables. So now it's a wide-open space. 

“I think they're talking about doing outdoor yoga here and putting up volleyball nets when it cools down.”

The goal is to add a barbeque pit, more furniture, speakers and shades on the patio, Flores said. The improvement plans are part of a bigger picture, he said. 

The patio outside the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center began renovations this summer with more renovations planned in the future. UP photo by Tim Cohrs. 

“My vision is the Rec Center and the Setzer Center both being more intertwined,” he said. “We're trying to think of both buildings as one building for students. That's kind of our drive.  Before, the Rec was just like a workout and sports area. Now, we want it to be more of a hangout area where you can do multiple things.

“When you're over (in the SSC), you're not just over there to study and eat. You can actually have some recreational fun and play sports, and do some competition stuff over there, too.”

Students can reserve spaces in the Setzer Student Center and the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center on LU Hub.


Category: News