HSC students may find themselves studying with a whole new sense of focus in the 24-hour study hall.
After summer renovations, the center’s 3,100-square-foot “Blue Room” reopened for student use Sept. 28. Located on the second floor of the Communicore Building, it now features new carpet, ceilings, furniture, doors and freshly painted blue on the walls to keep true to its name.
According to Marie Brown, a project manager and interior designer for UF’s Facilities, Planning and Construction Office, the changes were necessary to rid the room of its old, shabby vibe.
“Whenever someone didn’t know what to do with a chair, they just stuck it in there,” she said. “The furniture was very random and the lighting was bad, which made people start to complain.”
The changes were managed by a planning advisory committee that consisted of Brown, Dennis Hines from the Office of the Senior Vice President from Health Affairs and Laverne Burch from the HSC Library. Students were also on the committee, including then fourth-year medical student and current resident Omayra L. Marrero and Kathy Janion, a College of Dentistry student.
Old study carrels were replaced by new ones in addition to long, wooden tables. The committee picked out a color scheme, lighting, type of carpet and wood. They wanted the setting to ensure a quiet space, particularly for studying for board exams, instead of a lounge environment.
Lauren Rittenbaugh, a second-year pharmacy student, said she had only been in the Blue Room once or twice before the renovations because she did not like the tiny carrels and old, tile floors. She said she now enjoys the new, bright lighting and comes to the room often to get her work done.
The construction work was completed by the HSC Construction Auxiliary, headed by Danny Moore, and continues to be administrated through the HSC Library.