Kieran Rock and Kelly Burns
Months after its opening, the Kelly Commons has become an important fixture in campus life. Now, the building has a brand new addition–a free game room–that promises to draw more in more traffic from students.
Situated on the first floor of the commons is the new game room. Inside, students can play two “Fast and Furious” racing car games, a Big Buck Hunter shooting game and the classic arcade staple, Pac-Man. All games are completely free. The room also houses a jukebox stocked with current Top 100 CDs, including the latest albums from Taylor Swift and Beyonce, to name a few. The jukebox is also free for students to use.
“Everything is free. Do not put a quarter in the machine,” John Bennett, director of student activities said. Bennett pointed out that the games are made for arcades and come with coin slots, but they are programmed for students to use free of charge.
“For years it has been part of the architectural plans and something that was discussed,” he said. “We were hoping that it would be open when the commons was opened.” The game room opening was delayed because games were still being delivered and workers on the Kelly Commons were still utilizing the room.
“For the first few months the architects and the contractors were working out of the game room. Ordering the games was a process too,” Bennett said.
The addition of the game room was, as Bennett said, part of the overall architectural plan for the college.
Its placement in the new building came with the planning phase of the Kelly Commons project, according to Andrew Ryan, vice president for facilities.
“There were a number of student functions that were selected during the programming phase to be moved into the building and the game room was one of them,” he said.
The game room will also host the college’s game club which previously was housed in Thomas Hall in a room across from Cafe 1853. The student reaction to the game room has been mostly positive so far.
“I come here often with my friends,” Dasny Castillo said. “I absolutely adore this Pac-Man game, in fact I have the high score. And the jukebox is great, they have new music and old music so it has got everyone’s interests.”
Chris Laucella has also been making use of the game room since it opened. “I can come in here and challenge my friends to a racing game. It’s really nice. It’s a good atmosphere,” he said.
For now the game room is completed, but Bennett said the student activities office is looking into different seating options and possibly additions based on student interests.
“It’s done in the sense that it’s ready to go, but we are always willing to add and improve,” he said.