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RPAC Games Room to feature foosball, Wii, plasma TVs

Kyle Westendorf (left), a fourth-year in marketing, Zach Wilson (white hat), a second-year in political science, Colby MacMillan, a second-year in political science, Cody Crowther, a second-year in sport and leisure studies, and Mike Cozzi, a fourth-year in sport and leisure studies, play a casual game of foosball during the grand opening of The Lounge at the RPAC on Tuesday.

The RPAC is looking to kick off 2011 with the unveiling of The Lounge.

In late November, the doors of the old RPAC Games Room closed and the windows went black.

Kristin Smith, sponsorship and stewardship director at the RPAC, said after more than a month of renovations and design,

The Lounge, sponsored by Nike, is set to open its doors Tuesday.

The goal of the project is to change the Games Room into a more relaxing place students can hang out.

“The energy of the room is changing … this is now a place students can hang out within Rec Sports,” Smith said.

Previously, the Games Room featured two pool tables, table tennis, a foosball table and air hockey. The Lounge will continue to feature the pool tables and foosball table, but will add three plasma-screen televisions, each equipped with a gaming system. The Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 with Kinect will all be permanent additions to The Lounge.

Student Life and Rec Sports have partnered with Nike to create this space for students. Smith estimated the cost of the renovation to be near $50,000. None of the Student Activity Fee or Recreational Sports Fee was used in creating The Lounge. Smith said this change was made possible through sponsorships in the area such as Papa John’s, Raising Cane’s and Jimmy John’s. The corporate sponsorship through Nike was also a main contributor in covering the cost.

Jordan Davis, a fifth-year in leadership studies and political science and a student assistant in Rec Sports, took the lead on concept and design.

Davis said on top of all the new electronics and equipment that will be added to The Lounge, there will be all new chairs and couches in the room.

A mural on the wall will be added to represent many different student activities.

Davis and Jason Moore, a fourth-year in marketing, designed the mural. Moore is the student in charge of vision development for the project. Eyethink, the company that created many of the murals on the third floor of the Ohio Union, created the mural.

“The mural gives you a really nice picture of student life at Ohio State,” Smith said.

The Lounge is set to open on Tuesday with a two-day grand-opening event planned. There will be free food from sponsors, a Madden video game tournament with Block “O”, and a pool tournament with Undergraduate Student Government.

Katie Thomas, interactive marketing coordinator at the RPAC, is in charge of the opening and expects it to be full of activities and games. Besides his full support of the room, Thomas says that President E. Gordon Gee will attempt to make an appearance during the opening.

“Dr. Gee has fully supported The Lounge and he has agreed to compete in the Nike Plus Challenge in the spring,” Smith said. The Nike Plus Challenge tracks the number of miles someone walks or runs, and compares it to everybody participating on campus. Gee has agreed to compete with students.

Brett DiFranco, a fourth-year in communications and technology, said he is excited about the opening of The Lounge. He admits he used to walk past the old Games Room and never thought to go inside.

DiFranco is hoping the new room will have a high-definition TV and couches to relax.

Ben Gaddy, a second-year in aviation, said he wanted free stuff from Nike at the event.

Both DiFranco and Gaddy plan to attend the two-day event, to see the room in person and, in Gaddy’s case, get free stuff.

“Our goal was to make The Lounge comfortable, warming and fun,” Smith said. “It gives you a nice option to enjoy your time at the RPAC.”  

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