Student senate joins push to renovate Johnny’s

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Student senate is partnering with physical plant and the campus culture cluster, a group of faculty and staff who work to improve campus spaces, to renovate Johnny’s in the coming months.

Johnny’s renovations have long been a topic of conversation at Calvin.  A large-scale renovation of the entire Commons building was planned in 2004 (as discussed in this 2009 Chimes story) but was put on hold as funds ran low and projected costs increased.

The renovations currently being discussed are significantly smaller in scale.

Student senator Ansley Kelly said, “We have been in constant conversation with physical plant about what is feasible. We’re looking at things like lighting and furniture primarily, but things like paint colors and stuff like that are not out of the question.”

Student senate is looking for student input to decide which renovations will be made. From Jan. 14 to Jan. 17, suggestion forms will be available at residence hall front desks and the student senate office. Suggestions must be turned in to the student senate office by Friday, Jan. 17.

“The week after that,” Kelly explained, “we’re going to take a look at all of the ideas and we’re going to put them all in a format so that students can sticker vote on them.”

The sticker voting will take place in Johnny’s during the week of Jan. 20-24.

Although the campus culture cluster and physical plant are the primary forces behind the push to renovate Johnny’s, student senate hopes to add student voices to the conversation.

“Student senate is a supporter of this and we’re trying to get students involved in any way we can,” Kelly said.

Any renovations that come from this campaign will most likely be made over spring break this semester.

Beyond physical improvements to Johnny’s, student senate hopes to make it into a more accessible meeting place by extending the hours.

Although the success of senate’s push for Johnny’s to stay open throughout the night is uncertain, Kelly said, “There are going to be changes in the hours of Johnny’s … I don’t know what specifically what they will be.”

“It is student senate’s goal to get it open as much as possible,” she continued.

While student senate wants to make Johnny’s a warmer, more inviting place and encourage creative renovation suggestions, Kelly was quick to point out that practicality will be an important factor in the final decision.

“If a student submits an idea to put a hot tub in Johnny’s, we’ll have to say no,” Kelly said.   “However, if someone puts in an idea for movable tables that they can use to study at, that is a very real possibility.”

About the Author

Daniel Paulson

Daniel Paulson is a Chimes writer for the 2013-14 school year.

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