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