Following Winter Break, Denison first-year students returned to their common room in Curtis West to find an unexpected surprise: a renovated study and leisure space with all new furniture, lighting, and recreational features.
The space includes some exciting new elements, including three brand new couches and individual seating areas, a number of games and activities around the room, and a number of new lighting fixtures that illuminate the room’s striking new makeover.
One can easily notice that the Denison spirit is very much alive in the new renovation. Giant red Denison flags hang at the centerpiece mantle of the space, adding to the room’s refreshed ambiance. In addition, photos of current Denison first-year students are proudly hanging upon the walls, taken on this past summer’s first year pre-orientations.
Of course, this renovation could not have been completed without the help of some of Denison’s finest staff. Mark Moller, Dean of First-Year Students, as well as Ben Daleiden and Holly Breymaier of Residential Education teamed up to achieve a common goal: to transform the old Curtis West common room into something more current; a versatile, multi-purpose statement and space for first-year students.
One can appreciate all the functionality that the space has to offer. The newest features of the space were designed to keep the lounge useful in a variety of different ways. Now, students can enjoy the space leisurely, lounging in the many oversized bean bag chairs that dot the room or they can find undisturbed study spaces nestled near the lounge’s large windows for a quiet night of focusing on school work.
This plan to renovate the Curtis West lounge had been in the making for quite some time, but it is really impressive to see this incredible new design become a reality. Holly Breymaier and Christie Kasson took special creative license on curating a specific “Denison” design for the room. Dr. Moller and Mr. Daleiden spent a weekend over Winter Break assembling every piece of furniture by hand to prep the space for the first-years to enjoy.
Moller stated that Denison is striving to utilize this space for a variety of First-Year programming: “We hope to use the space to offer more regular programming for first-year students. We expect to use the space for all first-year students, rather than just those living in the Curtises.”
Though the space looks fresh, modern, and organized, there is still work to be done. Students can look forward to the rest of the chairs in the room to be reupholstered and the floors to be completely redone. Moller stated that there is even talk about adding seating options to the Curtis courtyard so students can enjoy the air on the warmer Fall and Spring days.
All this excitement has gotten students wondering: Will the other common rooms and lounges on campus be redone?
“We can’t be sure about that,” Mark Moller stated. “However, there is a great interest in redoing the residence halls at some point down the road.” Though Dr. Moller assured that this was not a plan set in stone for the near future, I’m sure we can all admit that this is rather exciting prospect to think about, in terms of what other renovations lie ahead on Denison’s campus.