Bowling is back as
games room reopens
By Wendy Williamson
Daily Cougar Staff
The newly refurbished University Center
games room opened its doors Monday with an array of upgrades and additions
to its interior design and
The flooding from Tropical Storm Allison
on June 8 left the games room, located in the UC's basement level, closed
for nearly the entire fall semester.
The total cost of the renovation and repairs
was approximately $130,000, said Keith Kowalka, assistant director of the
UC and its associated facilities.
"We had no idea what the cost was going
to be for just repairing the structure to its original state," Kowalka
"Our goal was to get the carpet done and
the walls ASAP," he said.
Repairs to original structures included
the replacement of drenched floor and wall carpets, ceiling tiles, the
billiards area and the bowling lanes, said
Dean Ruck, project manager of the Facilities
Department's production and construction division.
Of the total renovation cost, $20,000 came
from a UC reserve account set aside for emergency situations, said Bill
Schwehr, manager of UC Leisure
Services. Student fees and UC profits
fund the center's budget.
The remainder came from storm-related insurance
funding from the University's insurance carriers and the Federal Emergency
"The storm-related funding from the insurance
was only to repair and make the structure the same as it was before," Schwehr
said. "But we wanted to
take advantage of a bad situation and
make the games room better with upgrades. We agreed to put money into making
The upgrades include new synthetic-material
lanes in the bowling alley to replace the warped wooden lanes drenched
from the flood, as well as black
acoustical paint on the ceiling. This
addition, which replaces the white tiles on the ceiling, reduces noise
in the games room and gives a more
entertaining look, Ruck said.
"I really enjoy the new look given to the
games room," junior music performance major Casey Gambill said. "It makes
it a fun atmosphere and almost
makes you forget you're actually at school
when you're in there."
Additional upgrades will be added in the
near future, including a "Glow Bowl" lane with glow-in-the-dark balls,
pins, lanes and special lighting.
"We want to make the games room a fun environment,
but we have to look at our finances first," Ruck said. "It depends on the
renovation and repairs on
the Satellite and UC Underground also."
Both those facilities are expected to reopen in Spring 2002.
The original date for the new Glow Bowl
was set for Summer 2001, but the new date, possibly Summer 2002, will be
decided in the spring, Ruck said.
The games room's official Monday grand
opening followed a "sneak peek" for the public from Nov. 19 to 21.
The venue's regular hours are: 8 a.m. to
11:45 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Thursday; 8 a.m.
to 1:45 a.m. Friday and
Saturday; and 1 to 11:45 p.m. Sunday.