AS makes renovations to Cayton Center

The Associated Students are conducting a complete aesthetic overhaul of the Cayton Center and AS offices, turning the usual study space and meeting place into a lounge for students at Santa Monica College. The AS has spent $250,000 so far in renovations for the Cayton Center, which includes updated tables and chairs, as well as paint and restructuring. The new Center, christened the “Student Lounge,” will open by the first day of Spring semester, Feb. 18.

The funds for the renovation come from “The Cayton Center” account, a restricted AS account that can only be used for improvements to the student space. The account had nearly $1 million in it, $350,000 of which was approved for the renovation.

“We just wanted to create a space where students can socialize,” said Ty Moura, AS president. “Out [in the Cayton Center] it's pretty lifeless right now; there's no place right now where you can sit and talk to people.”

Renovations to the Center began two weeks ago, starting with the AS offices, displacing the board until the first week of school, when a majority of the floor is planned to be completed.

The new plan will replace the round tables with square tables, so as to easily be pushed together when students are working on large projects, said Michael Greenberg, director of publicity, who sat on the board for the project. A café bar with high stools will be placed along the windows on the South side of the building.

“We're not hoping this space will be a dead quiet study space," he said. "It's a lounge”

The furniture comes from Steelcase, an office furniture company that currently holds a contract with SMC as well as with the University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. The new furniture is sustainable, and the old furniture will be recycled.

Moura called a special board meeting Jan. 7 to discuss the funds needed for the project. There, five AS members were selected to comprise a board for the project. In addition to Moura and Greenberg, Halie Willis, director of sustainability, Maya Kaitel, inter-club council vice president and Diana Echeverria, AS secretary.

Among the new furniture are cushioned chairs with retractable desktops, similar to what you might find in a large lecture hall. The entry to the Cayton computer lab will be downsized to one desk. The larger desk that separates the entry from the rest of the Center is part of the building's infrastructure, so could not be removed. The Student Lounge will include a foosball table for study breaks as well.

"We're basically bringing it into the 21st century," Greenberg said.