Geena Piper, Student Association (SA) president, and Cole Fisher, SA vice president, are putting the final pieces together for improving campus with more outdoor seating — one of the platforms they ran on for presidency last school year.
There are currently three traditional picnic tables in front of Altman Hall on the basketball courts and two hexagonal tables in front of Taylor Hall. One of the hexagonal tables is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, with one of the attached side benches removed. The Hastings College Maintenance Department helped assemble the seats.
“We are getting rid of the broken and gross ones that were previously there (in front of Altman Hall),” Piper said.
There will be two more round tables in front of Perkins Library with five seats per table, replacing the “rusty, metal ones,” Piper said. Perkins Library will also receive four Adirondack chairs, a side table and an Adirondack glider.
All the tables will be made from recycled plastic and will come from Max-R, a furniture company that specializes in products with recycled material. Max-R also provided the trash receptacles and picnic tables in front of Hazelrigg Student Union (HSU).
“They have weathered well in the Nebraskan conditions and were substantially cheaper than our other option,” Piper said.
Piper and Fisher wanted to add outdoor seating to campus because they felt students had limited options to sit outdoors.
“The only place to really sit outside was by the union,” Piper said, referring to HSU.
The total cost for seating was $13,099. $10,000 for seating came from the campus improvement budget that is composed of funds that rolled over from previously SA unallocated funds. Susan Franklin, director of Perkins Library, contributed $3,000 from the library’s fund because they wanted to replace the seating in front of the library too.
Piper also worked with Matt Fong, associate vice president for external relations, and with Taylor Hall alums that wanted to donate to improve Taylor Hall. One of the picnic tables was the product of those talks.
Original plans for providing outdoor seating were for solar-powered picnic tables — where students could charge electronic devices — because of a rise in popularity at other college campuses. However, a smaller than expected budget in the SA unallocated fund led Piper and Fisher to purchase several tables instead of one solar-powered table.
“We could get multiple tables instead of just one solar-powered one and have a greater effect on campus,” Piper said.
The library furnishings are being installed later than expected because they are less standard, with grey and red color customizations.