MC Comfy is about to get less comfy

The next time you make your way to the MC Comfy Lounge for a nap, the space might be temporarily closed as the room is set to undergo a $58,000 renovation. Gayle Goodfellow, communications and student liaison officer for the math faculty, said renovations will take approximately two weeks.

According to Tristan Potter, MathSoc president, not only will the renovations include replacing the old couches with durable, “industrial-grade” couches, but also include an electronic switch for the lights so people can’t turn them off at their own discretion.

“The whole idea of getting single-seaters, in addition to making it hard to nap, is also to make it easier to rearrange the space to do whatever students want to do with it,” Potter said. 

“There’s an emphasis based on the furniture that’s been selected to reduce the napping time, but there’s no policy or new regulation in terms of use [of the space],” Goodfellow added.

Although the decision to go through with the renovations came from MathSoc, the student society received some pressure from UW administration to get this done. 

“The administration did push a little bit for it due to the sleeping thing — apparently it’s a fire hazard. So they wanted us to change that as well,” Potter said. “We wanted it to be more of an open space, and they wanted people not to sleep.” 

MathSoc will not actually implement any formal policy or regulations when it comes to use of the space, but hope to create flexibility when it comes to the issue of how the space is being used with these renovations. Potter hopes the MC Comfy Lounge becomes more of a “social space” where student groups and events can take place, instead of a “nap room,” which he said “is not an ideal use of [the room].”

The Math Endowment Fund will fund the majority  ($47,000) of the project. The rest of the funding will come from the MathSoc Capital Improvement Fund, which will cover $10,000 of the renovations, and the office of the Dean of Math will cover the remaining $1,000.

This project will go ahead, despite the fact that it’s only been four years since the MC Comfy Lounge last underwent renovations — back in January 2011 — when current Feds’ director of commercial services, Kumar Patel, was MathSoc’s VP finance.

Patel told <em>Imprint</em> the renovations that took place back then included the addition of the current couches in the MC Comfy Lounge. MathSoc then bought 56 &ldquo;consumer-grade&rdquo; couches for $10,000 rather than 56 &ldquo;commercial-grade&rdquo; couches with a $30,000 price tag.

The fact that the current couches are &ldquo;consumer-grade&rdquo; &mdash; manufactured primarily for home use &mdash; is part of the reason why their durability didn&rsquo;t pass the test of time and overuse.&nbsp;

&ldquo;The furniture that currently is in there wasn&rsquo;t commercial grade, so it deteriorated quite quickly,&rdquo; Goodfellow said. &ldquo;As soon as students figured that out, they knew they had to do something.&rdquo;

Potter also referenced the couches&rsquo; lack of durability.

&ldquo;The couches are falling apart. I&rsquo;ve sat on one and fallen through it, so that&rsquo;s not something we want in our lounge,&rdquo; he said.

Besides removing and replacing the furniture, the renovations will include giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, and cleaning the carpet. As part of the second phase, MathSoc hopes to add some more electrical work, remove the vending machines, and add a projector, just to name a few.

Although there is no set timeframe, Goodfellow said they&rsquo;re working with plant operations on a specific timeline, with the hopes to push renovations as late into the term as possible to minimize the disruption it may cause to students who rely on the space for studying or relaxing purposes.


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