Cayton revamp revealed in ceremony

The Associated Students unveiled their latest project to the student body on Thursday morning. A quick trip up the stairs next to the cafeteria revealed students socializing, eating food, playing music and laughing. “I’m so happy, so excited, I’ve never seen this many people hanging out in here. We wanted this to not be another study area," AS President Ty Moura said of the new space, named "The Student Lounge." "We wanted this to be a social area where students feel like its their home because this is their home.”

The AS presented certificates to those involved with the planning behind the renovation. To celebrate the architectural achievement, free food, cookies and candy were given to guests, as well as complimentary lanyards and pins.

Members of student government weren't the only ones excited about the new lounge area at Santa Monica College. “Honestly I like it, I really like it, it’s more like a fresh feel to it, more so then it was before,” said Allen Garay.

According to Moura, the budget for the new Cayton Center originally started at $13,000 but expenses escalated to over $250,000 once construction began.

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.

AS stuck to SMC's sustainable ethos. Old furniture was recycled, chairs were given to various departments on campus and the new carpeting is also comprised of used carpet.

In an effort to further transform the former study area, one of the new additions to the Cayton includes a foosball table for students, which Moura said she had to fight to get approved.

Students noticed the hard work that was put into the building makeover, “I came in here at six in the morning and I was like damn, it’s so nice, why didn’t they have this two years ago," said SMC student Catherine Santizo. "It makes me feel like I’m at Starbucks or Coffee Bean.”

However, the AS is not completely done and plans to add more to the student lounge in an ongoing effort to create a student community, said Michael Greenberg, AS director of publicity.

“We're even thinking about putting lounge music," he said. "This is where people can come and make friends, we want people to come here and interact and learn of cool things to do on campus."