By: Jessica Landman
The natural light shone through the floor to ceiling windows illuminating the wood floors and green couches lining the walls of the room. The brown, green and orange decorations along the walls gave the lounge an early 2000s feel. An old grand piano sat on a small stage in the furthest corner from the entrance. Burghy’s Lounge now looks completely different after undergoing recent renovations.
Burghy’s Lounge, located in the Angell College Center, was closed down in May of the spring semester for renovations that are still in progress. However, students are welcome to check out the new space. The lounge got a modern upgrade with accents in the Plattsburgh red. The stage has been opened up to the room, and the old piano has been replaced by a new sound box. The tentative opening date is Oct. 1.
The hope of Eric Laessig, the campus’s customer and classroom media support technician, is for the newly renovated Burghy’s Lounge to become a place where students can hang out, eat and do work with each other. It provides a place other than the dining halls and dorms rooms where students can get together and socialize.
“There is buy-in from a lot of people. They wanted to make this happen,” Laessig said.
The renovation of Burghy’s Lounge has been an ongoing idea for one person in particular, Jacob Avery, the interim director of the center for student involvement, for a few years, and his visions are now being made a reality.
Some of the improvements installed thus far are new lights, new audio and video equipment and new ceiling speakers. There will be opportunities for live music and a new way to broadcast it. Laessig is working on a way to connect the speakers of Burghy’s Lounge to the speakers around the ACC. He is also hoping to connect those speakers to the radio station WQKE, located next to Burghy’s Lounge as well to broadcast student musicians to a wider audience.
Outside contractors from the MNL Construction Group were brought in during the summer to work. They installed new sound systems for the stage that run through the main counter in the back of the room as well as all new lighting systems and electronics throughout the lounge. The plan is to connect TVs to the sound systems for events like karaoke in which the lyrics will be displayed on the screen.
Events like Coffeehouse are expected to return when Burghy’s Lounge fully reopens again. There will also be opportunities for karaoke and open mic nights for students to come support on campus musicians and enjoy live music. First-years Bella Lambert and Julia Beravin were already utilizing the new space, and they said they are excited to attend future events held in the reopened lounge.
Chartwells and the College Auxiliary Services have been considering adding a dining option to the lounge as well.
“Our primary consideration is providing excellent dining choices for our students. We work with Chartwells to understand what concepts are available to bring to our campus and what would be most exciting for our campus community,” Catherine Keleher, the executive director for College Auxiliary Services, said.
The Dining Advisory Committee will also be meeting again next month. Students are welcome to attend with questions, ideas and concerns.
“Throw some music in there,” Laessig said. “Start luring people in to start looking around and seeing what’s here.”
In that respect, there is more minor construction on some of the electronic, sound and lighting systems yet to be done as well as constructing all of the furniture that will go into the lounge. All the furniture will be new, including the pool table and foosball table already set up in the lounge.