VenDen to open this week

On Feb. 24 the doors to the VenDen will be open, perhaps even removed, and ready for a new era of Bulldogs. Last year, theatrical design and production major Solveig Bloomquist won the ‘Idea Com­petition’ that gave the new design of the VenDen a foun­dation. Several ideas that com­petition submitters came up with were incorporated into the final design, but the judges liked Bloomquist’s idea of keeping the VenDen’s tradition alive.

“I wanted to keep the old ‘70s-retro thing because that space was super-duper unique,” Bloomquist said.

She said it will basically be an updated version of the old Ven­Den everyone knows and loves, but the atmosphere of the space is completely changed. Patrick Keenan, director of Student Life, wanted the VenDen to be a “signature space” for students to unwind and brown bag dur­ing class breaks. The room has a relaxing, lounge-like atmosphere where students can still grab something out of the vending machines or microwave home lunches.

Before the renovation, the Ven­Den had 16 vending machines running. When it opens in a couple weeks it will have eight machines along one wall to cut down on energy costs. A sink, printer, countless USB outlets and upgraded Wi-Fi capability are just a few of the upgrades that bring the VenDen to the 21st century.

“It had the look and feel of the ‘70s. It never really left,” Keenan said.

It has certainly left the ‘70s, but it manages to keep the same retro feel for tradition’s sake. The space has a neutral-colored theme but the new, brightly col­ored furniture will give it the same flavor the space had before.

“(Bloomquist) really appreci­ated the nostalgia, the tradition, and the longevity that was in here,” Keenan said.

The crew working on the Ven­Den is under the $250,000 bud­get and will open Tuesday of next week. The opening date is a few weeks behind schedule due to the delayed shipment of key materi­als.

BY LEAH RODGERS Multimedia Editor

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