Improvements to the recreation center, SSC in progress
Work is underway to improve the Setzer Student Center and the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center.
Hector Flores, Dean of Students at LU, said it was difficult for students to find entertainment on campus and the upgrades will meet this need.
“The idea was to update some areas and change the atmosphere that was going on in Setzer, and then update some things in Rec,” he said.
The Setzer Student Center playroom has been upgraded from Cedar 160 to Willow Marsh 144.
“We chose this (room) because we want to give students an audience,” Flores said. “It really gives you an integrated audience for the people who are already seated (in the food court).”
The room includes several gaming chairs and two 60-inch 4K TVs, which students can use with a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Xbox One X. Flores said the student engagement office is also working on add a PlayStation 5.
A PC games room will be installed in the Wolf Creek room. The hall is currently a board game room with chess and other games available to students.
“The idea of this room is to install six PCs (Alienware) in it,” said Flores. Students and organizations can reserve rooms by visiting LU Hub or by scanning the QR code on the signs outside each room.
Flores said he came up with the general idea of the new recreation areas during an assessment, but sought help and advice from staff, students and organizations.
“I reached out to the eSports team to see their feedback and what ideas they had for the PC game room,” he said. “We went to see the space where they are currently playing. We spoke to a few teachers there and they gave us advice on what to do and what not to do.
At Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center, the pro shop is being converted into a space where student organizations can sell merchandise or raise funds.
The cafe, which was once the Big Red Juice Bar, is going to be renovated, Flores said.
“We moved some furniture and cleaned up the kitchen so that the students can reserve this space for parties or events and they can use the kitchen,” he said.
The renovation of the recreation centre’s games room began in the spring with the refurbishment of the pool tables. Over the summer, the air hockey tables were redesigned.
“Air hockey tables have a button you press to replace the coin,” said Jason Harrington, athletic and intramural club coordinator. “It takes two button presses. This counts as two coins. You only have to press this button twice and it starts the table. All you have to do is check the paddles in the equipment desk. The washers are inside the table and they will come out when the air starts on the table.
Harrington said Rec Sports will host an air hockey tournament on October 12. Registration is via imleagues.com/lamar.
Table tennis has moved to the racquetball court, and the old space is now a living room.
Flores said he plans to renovate and reuse the recreation center patio that originally housed the mini-golf course and was used for storage, and work began in the summer.
“It’s no longer a storage area,” said Flores. “We pressure washed everything. A demo team came and took everything apart. They took all the rocks that were here – we leveled them. We did some drainage and irrigation and put in some new grass. We make it a mini event space. We put chairs, tables. So now it’s a big open space.
“I think they’re talking about doing outdoor yoga here and putting on volleyball nets when it cools down.”
The goal is to add a barbecue pit, more furniture, speakers and blinds to the patio, Flores said. The improvement plans are part of a larger package, he said.
“My vision is that the Rec Center and the Setzer Center are both more linked,” he said. “We try to think of the two buildings as one building for the students. It’s kind of our motivation. Before, the Rec was like a training and sports area. Now, we want it to be more of a hangout where you can do multiple things.
“When you’re done (at SSC) you’re not just there to study and eat. You can actually have fun, play sports and compete there too. “
Students can reserve seats at the Setzer Student Center and Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center on LU Hub.