Friday October 24, 2003
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RHA upgrades seek to rejuvenate Brittain Rec


A student shoots pool in Brittain Rec. In addition to a new pool table, RHA plans to add couches and video games to make the space more exciting.

By Laura Masce Senior Staff Writer

The Residence Hall Association is trying to revitalize Brittain Rec and turn it into a social center on east campus.

Brittain Rec is the laundry and recreational area behind Brittain Dining Hall. The facility is divided into three sections: a laundry room, a hall council meeting room and a recreational room. RHA is focused on upgrading the recreational area.

Andrew Howard, president of RHA and third year Computer Science major, explained the project.

“It’s not so much a remodeling as it is an addition. We [RHA] are not renovating it in any way. What we’re doing is adding amenities to the location,” Howard said.

“Up to five or six years ago there had been pool tables in there, and the Student Center had operated it as a recreation area,” Howard said.

“They weren’t making enough money, so they pulled out, and since then that space has gone downhill. The tables are old and wobbly. It’s not a very attractive area,” he said.

Amy McDaniel, a freshman Aerospace Engineering major, noted a need for an activity area for the residents on the east side of campus.

“I really think that Eastside needs more of a community space because it’s pretty far from things. It’s a walk to the Student Center and to the CRC (Campus Recreation Center) and to any of those places, so it would be nice to have a hangout place. Right now [Brittain Rec] is just a place where people go to do laundry or study,” McDaniel said.

Michael Forde, another Aerospace Engineering freshman, also expressed an interest in Brittain Rec’s enhancement.

“It would be good to make it a little more homely because everyone has to wash clothes there, and at certain times you have like thirty people in there, and they have nothing to do,” Forde said.

The idea to improve Brittain Rec started last year. Installation of new amenities started a few weeks ago. Already a pool table has been added, and Howard has other plans, as well.

“We’re going to install between three and five video games,” Howard said. “Three of them are already in place-Mortal Combat III, Area 51 Site 4 and Ms. Pacman. They aren’t working yet, but they will be very soon. They will be free [to play],” he said.

“The next step we’re looking into is purchasing couches similar to those in the Student Center-anywhere from two to three. We are also working with the Student Center to get the tables replaced,” Howard said.

In addition to the plans for new video games, couches and tables, RHA is working to buy a projector for the hall council meeting room in Brittain Rec.

“We’ve already gotten approval from Housing to purchase a projector to put into the meeting room for big televised events. We can open that area to residents for events like Super Bowl parties,” Howard said.

With so many new additions, security of Brittain Rec may become an issue. Dan Matz, president of Glenn-Cloudman hall council and freshman Aerospace Engineering major, noted the possible problems.

“The main problem they have with putting new stuff in, like a pool table, is people stealing,” Matz said. “To add a lot of entertainment stuff in there would probably cause a lot of security problems.”

Security is an issue which is still being discussed, along with the possibility of a Westside Market and diner-type venue within Brittain Rec.

“The Student Center and Dining are throwing out the idea of putting some type of food or store in there. It’s in the brainstorming process right now. It may or may not happen,” Howard said.

“I would like to see that area used as a campus resource,” Howard said.

“I’d be really excited if I walked in there every night and saw twenty to thirty residents using it as a recreational space and not just a place to do laundry.”

The additions are expected to be completed within a month’s time.