Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 2.
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Pomona College Magazine is published three times a year by Pomona College
550 N. College Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

Online Editor: Mark Kendall

For editorial matters:
Editor: Mark Wood
Phone: (909) 621-8158
Fax: (909) 621-8203

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Bustling at Last
Renovation /Smith Campus Center

The Smith Campus Center bustles -- at last. The living room is filled with students studying-some working on laptops. Billiard balls clang over banter in the Kinsmith Coop Fountain. Dance beats thump from the Doms Lounge below. More than a decade after the project was conceived, the Smith Campus Center is living up to its name.

Set firmly to the north of Marston Quad, on the site where the old Edmunds Union once stood, the Smith Campus Center opened in 1999 after four years of planning and two years of construction. Reviews were mixed. "What became clear was that while we had a beautiful building, it wasn't as functional as it might have been," says Campus Center Director Neil Gerard. "It wasn't very effective as a campus center."

After attempting smaller-scale changes, the College decided to undertake a more dramatic renovation for 2006-07, including the completion of the lower level. What the College wanted was a true community center, a gathering place that would serve as an academic and social hub. Since reopening all of its doors this spring, the revamped campus center has drawn a positive reaction-and, more importantly, people.

"Students now engage there, they go get their mail, they sit on the couches, they meet friends, they hang," says Gerard. "That's the vibrancy we're looking for."

On the ground level, the Coop Fountain was expanded to include a lounge area complete with billiard tables and pinball machines, and this casual eatery opens to North Campus in a more visible way. A new "campus living room" includes the student mailroom, complete with TV, couches and computer stations. An exhibit gallery was also opened.

To the south, the new sunken patio area and gently sloping lawn lead to the lower level where the pub-like Doms Lounge provides an upscale recreational space for a wide variety of events. The Career Development Office maintains its location on the ground level, while The Writing Center and Office of Community and Multicultural Programs are located on the second level. The campus center's landscaped exterior was designed to welcome visitors from all directions. Even the doors were changed, increasing the amount of glass to improve visibility. Students flock to the brightly-lit center into the night, bringing the vaulted halls to life as they pass through.

"I think it's really great for us because all of our friends come here," says Katie Goodwillie '07. "It's definitely more of a gathering place now."
-Travis Kaya '10
©Copyright 2007
by Pomona College
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