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With construction on the main floor soon to begin, the project advisory groups have shifted their attention to furnishing our new spaces! Did you know the Weldon Revitalization will add a lot of new study seats – nearly 200! – and we want to make sure they’re comfortable and versatile for a broad range of situations and needs.

While this process sounds easy enough, there are lots of things to consider. Should the seats be individual, like separate desk chairs, or should they be shared, like benches? And what about how they feel? We’ve all had bad experiences with the extremes: chairs so rigid they hurt to look at, or chairs with such little support you practically sit on the floor. And let’s not mention what happens to leatherette fabric in summer heat, when it meets the backs of your legs and the stickiness begins.

Finding the right tables is equally important. Should they be small and modular, think laptop only, or should they be large and shared? Circle, square, rectangle? What about built-in charger and power outlets?

To help inform these decisions and more, we compiled a variety of furniture options and sent a brief survey to students to see if we’re on the right track. Nearly 100 students responded, giving us good recommendations to move forward with. We also held six student focus groups for in-depth discussions about the furniture options, and alongside the survey findings, we heard a clear preference for standalone seating, like desk chairs and swivel tub chairs; a desire for large, shared tables over individual ones; and a strong plea for accessible power.

Now the project advisory groups will work with this information to help finalize a furniture order in the coming weeks. Next up, taking down the Service Desk and all of the art!

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